What can be said and done in light of recent horrific events?
As another voice in the sea of opinions I will try not to duplicate what has already been said or written. However, I am fully aware that may be impossible. So for what it is worth I will speak from my context and from within the questions of my immediate neighbors.
I live in the midwest. We are facing hard times. We have failing relationships, fewer manufacturing and farming jobs, overburdened charitable agencies with ever decreasing budgets, and overwhelming health care costs.
We are globally aware. Our hearts ache for the pain that we see. We want to do what we can for our neighbors; both local and abroad.
We are concerned about threats to us. We do not take that lightly. We have mixed feelings about sending our sons and daughters into another conflict.
What should we do? What is the way forward? How can we help without alienating the people in need that live next door to us?
Here is what I am choosing to do.
If while watching the coverage of the latest developments regarding the terrorists and the international assault on them I begin to feel anxious or fearful I will turn off the computer or TV and pray. I will pray for those harmed, for peace to come into communities and the souls deeply entrenched in violence.
As far as it is up to me I will help those in need in my midst. If I feel led to I will give to an international agency that is helping the displaced. I can speak up for refugees who are stuck and feared. Where you were born should not keep you from being shown grace or being offered a chance to live.
I will keep these words in my mind and heart.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4: 18a
Why would I extend love and compassion to another in the midst of troubling and frightening times?
“We love because [God] first loved us.” 1 John 4: 19
Love risks. Love is the light that will lead us through the darkness. Love silences the chaos of the storm. Love sacrifices and was resurrected for all.