Injustice, chaos, violence, strife, racism and fear followed by anger, retaliation and nationwide unrest have come to define our country over the past several months. Beginning with the mass shooting in a gay night club in Orlando, FL, the shooting of a black man in Minnesota and another in Louisiana, and ending with the killing of police officers in Dallas, Texas, we are seeking answers and guidance.
Why does it take a tragedy or a series of tragedies to motivate people to speak out about the problems in our world? My thoughts, however, are, “Why are we just talking about it?”
We can give lip service to these shootings, point fingers and blame others, come up with “feel-good” slogans or we can hit our knees and begin praying.
Peace doesn’t come automatically.
Christian author Rebecca Barlow Jordan wrote on Facebook, “Praying for God’s comfort, love and compassion for those who have lost loved ones, friends, and family members in Dallas, and wherever lives have so senselessly been taken. And praying for a nation gone so far away from God. Praying that we can come back to the One who holds everything in His hand, not in a moment of silence, but through deep, deep, prayerful cries on our knees, prayers of submission, prayers of surrender, and prayers of longing to be a people who shine as lights in a dark world. How we need You, Jesus! Bring us back to You!”
While I usually don’t say much politically on social media, I’ve read and responded to several posts since the Dallas police officers were gunned down. One of my former students posted the following message with which I happen to agree:
“The happenings in our country right now aren’t about race or religion or Obama, Trump or Hillary, the FBI, open carry or even gender. It’s bigger! In this tangled mess of our fast, daily lives, our lives so blinded and consumed by wanting more and caring less, by becoming so calloused to the rude and evil ways of others, by being guilty even in the slightest way by turning our heads when we should stand up and speak, it’s about the loss of love!
“In love there is no hate. I don’t need to offer up a definition of love. I don’t need to write fluffy sentences that sing and dance together. I’m certain that you all get it. It’s love, plain and simple. We have drifted so far from love. So, until this hate in every heart is extinguished we will never know peace. I know what you’re thinking and you’re probably right, not in this lifetime. But for me, I choose love. Dismantle hate when you can, love your neighbor, love yourself and never forget God. God is love.”
We’re a nation in shock, grieving the loss of so many. Peace doesn’t come automatically. It’s active, requiring us to submit ourselves to Jesus. We must walk in peace if we are to demonstrate His love to the world. Only then can love win.
(Note: This post was written before the killing of the policemen in Baton Rouge. However, it is more proof that we must not only pray for our country but seek to walk in peace.