My heart is hurting this morning. My ears and eyes bleed when I read about the new and ongoing violence happening in the country I live in and in thousands of other places in the world, that get very little to zero media coverage. The thought of the injustice, evil and hatred thriving throughout humanity in this world is more than I can bear to fathom as I look over to my son sleeping peacefully in a world where I am presently his everything – mother, caregiver, teacher and protector. My heart is heavy knowing that he will grow up and learn and experience the injustices of the world and encounter hatred and bigotry and his heart will either grow a bit harder or grow a bit sadder, or both. It breaks my heart to know that I will not be able to hold and protect him forever. His first year of life has been an attempt at keeping the real world at a great distance and making his existence as pristine and protected as possible – which is what every child deserves.
But the world is not pristine and people are not safe, so it seems. And as he grows more and more each day, curious with his surroundings and interacting with people and the world more and more, I imagine him as a young man and as an adult navigating through this world. This world that is not in my arms, but is beyond my realm of protection, this world full of pain, full of fear, full of hatred, full of turmoil. This world full of sin and empty of God.
I have fear, I have sadness, I had a sleepless early morning today when I read about the protests and shootings in Dallas. In the heat of racial and political debate, I find it difficult to read into details about recent shootings, because there is just so much anger emanating from so many angles. Anger that is perhaps justifiable but an anger that feels…hopeless. Social media is a bursting pipe of emotional posts, status updates, hashtags, fear, sadness, and anger. The pain and injustice that people are feeling indicate the need for “change”, reform, peace, love, transformation, justice in the hearts of people… And then I question, where and who do we look to for these virtues to go into effect? Political leaders? Social figures? Religious leaders? Social media? Take part in the latest #hashtag blast? If you look to these outlets, you may just find more turmoil, heated debate and more anger, hopelessness and despair.
Where do we find the peace and love?
I have been feeling moved by the Holy Spirit these days, to be bold. And as I, along with millions of other people try to make “sense” of what is happening in the world today…there is no answer and there is no sense. People think that people can be the source of love and peace in this world if we just be it. It is the common belief that if humans just loved each other then the world will transform into a loving and happy place. That is true is a certain sense but…what the truth is totally different. Humans are not capable of that kind of love on their own. After countless incidents of violence, murder, brutality, mass killings, and now with the world being so much more connected by communication….how do people just start or even continue to love without boundaries? How exactly can the world be transformed when there is clearly so little love and peace or reason for it in peoples’ hearts?
Humans can’t do it. One human can’t do it and frankly, neither can millions of humans all coming together. Only God can transform hearts. I’m going to say that again because it doesn’t only apply to large scale needs of the world but with every day struggles where people try to find change “within themselves” Only God can transform hearts. With a transformed heart from God, comes a changed attitude and behaviour. Without God, there is no peace, no love and only hopelessness and a continuum of pain, violence, murder and a plethora of other sins. Only in Christ can we become new creatures. Only He can teach us what love truly is, because He first loved us. Ask people to change…they try and try and try, and they fail. Hope that the thousands of protesters and those speaking against injustice will make an impact. But next week there will be another shooting that no one will know about and another one soon after that everyone will talk about and there will still be no justice. This world is sin, and a world in sin is hopeless. I honestly have no faith in humanity, and I’m not even ashamed to say it and it doesn’t even make me sad. Humans fail themselves and each other over and over again. God never fails. My hope is not in something that fails. My hope and my peace is from God.
A world without God is hopeless. As long as we turn away from God, there will be consequences. Well why doesn’t He just DO something then, right?
Well, He is. He is transforming the hearts of those who love and follow Him and who trust Him. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the greater population despite the statistics on how many people consider themselves Christians but that’s a whole other debate. But I truly believe if the true teachings of Christ and the love He has for the world and His children that he created, was shared by true teachers and not false ones, and even by someone like me who is generally meek and timid about my opinions and beliefs…I think that the love and hope of living a life pleasing to God could be better understood.
So yes, I pray hard for the victims and the victims families. I pray for those in pain, in anger, in full protest of the injustice. I also pray for the enemy. I pray for everyone’s hearts to be transformed because everyone’s hearts needs to be transformed every single day. And I pray that God use me and others to spread the message of peace, love and righteousness that Jesus’ life and purpose on earth was all about. Some people don’t believe in prayer. And they angrily state that. Screw your prayers, get angry instead or DO something. But with anger, there is no love and there is no hope and there is no transformation. The world is sin. We are not waiting on the world to change. We are waiting for God’s return and His kingdom come. It is a greater hope to look forward to. Because no, I don’t believe that the world will change because sin is real and the hearts of humans are full of it. And here is the truth: the most deep-seeded, true and seasoned Christian (definitely not me!) needs God as much as the most sinful, broken and hopeless person. There is no discrimination there. We literally all need God and that is what broke my heart so much this morning. Reading all the angry and hopeless reactions and just knowing how different the world would be if our hearts all just belonged to Jesus.
What can I teach my son then? In light of this world and the circumstances we live in. I will teach him the fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Because against such things there is no law. I will teach him that we all need God in every aspect of our life. And sometimes we will despair and not call out to Him and maybe not believe in Him or even curse Him. And that sometimes we will want Him to “do” something and initially, there might not be a response, or ever. But that doesn’t change who He is and what He is capable of. He is capable of changing the hearts of humans so that we no longer have to feel hopeless in this world. I am product of that and I know in my heart, that I am bearing fruit. Because as a follower of Christ, I know this is not my home and I will not be conformed to the ways of this world and that in this day and age, it is evident that evil and sin are very real which makes my need for God even greater every single day.