Recently I was battling against this feeling of acceptance to violence. Many of you, if you were honest, would agree. We have become complacent with what is happening. We have grown to accept it as another facet of life. We have come to recognize it as the norm! Let me be honest and offer a little insight. Media had steeled my heart and soul to the violence. I could watch another story on a shooting, stabbing, bombing of a hospital, bodies in the street. Where before I used to turn away in remorse, pain, and empathy it has now become just another news story that I watch without batting an eye. When does it end?
We have become so complacent and accepting of what we see and hear and this has became all too clear at a recent shooting at our mall. Many of you know the story, but a young man shot a woman three times because she had ended a relationship with him, and this all unfolded while Elise and I were within site of the act. A young lady lost her life that evening, and it pains me to say that for a few days it never really set in. I was interviewed for local news agencies. I watched countless reports on the shooting. Read every document I could. But the reality that a child of God was brutally taken from this world did not set in for quite a while.
When it did, I mourned deeply. I began to cry over the violent way a life was ended. All this happened while I was watching a news story on the shooting, and I noticed immediately after that story more stories of violence, pain, and bloodshed filled the newscast. Truly violence sells. Truly violence has so impacted our lives it draws us in. Truly violence has become a way of life for us. Whether we commit it or choose to ignore it we are allowing violence to continue.
We must do something about this! We must change this! We must bring the love of Christ to the forefront of these issues! No more sitting by. No more pretending it doesn't happen. No more making excuses. No more ignorance. No more!!!
As for those who use violence as a resource for your so called "faith"...Shut it! Those who believe that you can proclaim that the shooting at Planned Parent Hood was an act of God's judgement or that this vile act saved lives, you are foolish and profane the very God you are claiming to serve. That is not love in the least bit. A true Christ follower would have gone down and helped those in need and served the widows and orphans. A true Christ follower would not belittle a woman seeking out an abortion but would ask her her name, to offer another option, and if she says no would not belittle her or cast slurs or Bible verses of condemnation upon her, but would instead call her their sister and let her know how much they love her and the life she carries.
All this to say: we have an obligation. An obligation to change our world. An obligation to turn from our violent ways. An obligation to protect life, not take it. An obligation to stand for truth, freedom, mercy, and grace. Imagine a world that our news stories glorified these aspects of society and humanity and not the killing and hurting of other people. What then? As a Christian, I have spiritual and moral obligation to do all I can to help end the hurt, pain, and violence that plagues this world. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and we cannot do that by pretending the problem doesn't exist, we cannot do that by becoming desensitized to the issues, we cannot do that by simply praying for the problem to end. We must change how we react, must change our interactions, simply put we must act. We must engage. We must show this world who Jesus is, how He values life, how He alone can bring healing, and how our world will only truly be healed once everyone has heard the name of Jesus and He returns to take us home.
Will you help change the world? Change isn't something I can make happen. But I can lead by example...the example Christ Himself set forth. I will love others regardless of race,gender, ethnicity, economic stance, sexual orientation, or religious views. I will seek to clothe and feed those who are orphaned, alone, and hungry. I will serve our public servants and politicians out of respect and a realization that their jobs are hard and thankless. I will not cave to the violence that we see but instead pray daily that God allows me to be a light in a dark place, a beacon on a hill, that proclaims love, grace, mercy, redemption, and transformation.
Will you help change the world?