I fought writing this. I’ve been silent because I really felt for a moment that there were no words to say. I’ve been in silent prayer for days trying to come up with something that could help express my feelings of hurt, shame, disgust, disappointment, sadness, and outrage with the recent and not so recent killings that are plaguing our society. And I had nothing…until today.
Yesterday, I was listening to one of my very few favorite radio programs – The Willie Moore Jr. Show, which broadcasts locally here in the DMV on the contemporary gospel station Praise 104.1, and something Willie said stuck with me. He said we need to take a minute to respond and not react to situations like this. A big reason why many of our problems persist is because we are too busy being reactionary, which is based off of unreliable and momentary feelings, rather than being thoughtful and prayerful, which can lead to a more helpful and productive response to a tragedy.
Let me be clear. What is happening right now is a tragedy, and it’s not necessarily a new one. Senseless killings have been happening since the original fall of man. What’s happening right now is there is more widespread attention focused on it and it’s breaking people’s hearts, literally. We can’t help but to pay attention to it now. But I believe it’s having an adverse effect. Instead of us doing something about it, it appears to be getting worse because people are reacting rather than responding and it’s continuing a vicious cycle.
One of my close friends Sharnikya, who I might add is a brilliant life coach and blogger herself [See Life Abundantly], wrote a post the other day worth sharing below that I think gets to the heart of the solution. And before some people take offense to what she said about the hashtags, no one is saying don’t express feelings about what’s happening, – there’s therapy in that – but what else are we going to do?
I know one place we can start is with love. I already heard it before this was posted. Someone just said REALLY? [Insert eye roll here.] But stay with me, I’m almost done. It seems so simple but yet society has romanticized it so much, I believe no one really knows what it means any more. Jesus said it was the greatest commandment of them all but it seems people, unfortunately mostly Christians, have forgotten what it means to really love others. I get it. Some may argue that I’m really simplifying a solution to a very complex issue, but what if we just tried it? Because honestly, the more I look at what’s happening, the less I see love on any side of the war.
This is a war, in case you didn’t know. It’s been a never ending war that keeps getting worse because we honestly don’t even know we’re in a war. And those who’ve realized there is a war, don’t even know who the opponent is or how to fight it. Times like these, when I don’t know what to say or do, I go to the only place I can find comfort – the word. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
You may ask, well what does that look like? For one example, read That is Love. I think love also looks like your answers to the questions Sharnikya asks. If we all took time to answer some of those questions for ourselves I think we’d begin to find the love we so desperately need.