I haven’t been blogging for many months. Primarily because I have had nothing worth saying. Today I have something to say.
I will first confess that it takes a lot for a news story to get to me emotionally. In part because I am by default rather cynical and fatalistic. Nothing surprises me.
This shooting in Newtown, Connecticut today is hitting me harder than other horror stories that pass through my twitter feed. Maybe it’s because I have a son in an elementary school right now as I type. Maybe it’s because it seems fractionally worse to kill little children than it does to kill adults or even teenagers. (That may be a strange thing to say – but this is sending me spinning more than Columbine did.)
I have a lot of different kinds of friends. I count that as a blessing. I have a lot of right-leaning Evangelical friends. They have taken to Facebook offering prayers, bible verses and outrage. I’m good with that.
I have liberal Christian friends who jump to looking for a societal fix like gun control reform, etc. I get that too. (Sadly, it never takes long for my conservative and liberal Christian friends to fight over politics on an issue like this before we even have a body count.)
I also have plenty of atheist and agnostic friends. They are also outraged. They tend to speak of the need for love and justice. I get it. Some of them get upset at people of faith for praying, saying that God could have stopped it in the first place if he is even there. They think us naïve. Again…I get it. I have always been honest with my doubts about the whole God thing. But I say to them, let us process the way we process.
The words of Paul in Romans 12 have been pounding in my head like a throbbing migraine today. I can’t shake them. I tweeted them earlier today. I think all of us – Christians of all stripes, people of other faiths or no faith at all – I think maybe we can at least for today rally around this ancient Jewish rabbi turned Christian apostle’s simple statement:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
My hope is that all of my friends would take these words to heart today. This is how we move forward – together. In love. United against evil and clinging to the good. And honoring one another as we go, even if we are different. Because we are more the same than we are different. We all want love. We all want hope. If nothing else, a story of despair like this fuels the fire in my heart to continue telling stories of hope. I’m blessed to have a career that let’s me do that, but you can do it too. We all can – in a hundred different ways.
So what do we do now? After something like this?
We pray if we are able. But ultimately we love. It’s the only way out of this darkness.
I am excited to speak this weekend at the Vineyard after a long break. My topic assigned months ago was “simple love.”
Seems like what we all need…maybe me most of all.