These are turbulent times. One cannot turn on the television or the internet or talk with friends without being confronted with videos and stories of protestors, rioting, destruction of property and the victimization of more and more people. It breaks my heart when anyone is deliberately killed or injured due to any reason. In reflecting on the motives of all this death and injury, it dawned on me that all of these people are God’s children, whether victim or perpetrator, and each and everyone of them is seeking for justice, peace, harmony, love, and respect.
While the media wants to tell us that revenge and justice are the motives of injured people, our faith tells us that injuring others, regardless of the motive, never brings about the needed changes that lead to a culture of peace and respect. As one person said, “If we live by the maxim of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will all be blind and toothless.”
In my early twenties we sang a song. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there is just too little of.” Love! While we may experience it in our families, love is not intended to only be experienced there. We ought to be loving and respecting those who oppose us. That was part of the message of Jesus. We need more than ever for our political and religious leaders to stand up and recognize our sibling-hood as children of God. Just as we needed our fathers and mothers to take us to task and demand that we reconcile with our siblings, we need our leaders to take us to task and demand that we respect everyone as brothers and sisters of the human race.
Why don’t we look at our differences as gifts from our Creator, that we are made in his image, that each of is worthy of love and respect regardless of our gender, sexual preference, wealth, power, race, religion, or political leanings? How can we achieve this? We can’t! Jesus can! He said, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Peace, harmony, justice, and love start with me and you. I’ve decided to do my best to follow Jesus, live by his word and example and harvest of life of respect, justice and love in my little corner of the world. Will you join me?
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”