In a world of hostage situations, shooting sprees, beheadings, and more, we as a people have become largely desensitized. Thanks to the Internet and social media, there is immediate access to the ongoing terror alive in this world, and while it angers us, it has not been enough to stop us from watching. I, too, am guilty of pouring over news sites and Twitter, waiting for any new information as these dramas unfold. Tears fill my eyes but I cannot look away as I pray for those whose lives have been affected by tragedy.
While most of us look on in horror, there are some that quietly champion the acts of others. Some will quietly record these events in their mind and think that perhaps it is something they can do one day. I fear for these people and the things that go through their minds. I fear for the families they intend to target, and I fear for the state of our humanity as we continue to witness relentless killings against each other.
It doesn’t matter what color or race you are, or even where you live. It doesn’t matter how old or young a person is, what religion a person practices, or their sexual preference… we are all targets.
There is no safe place for us to escape these terrors.
If we are lucky enough to not be shot at, raped, held hostage, or any of the other countless tragedies that can befall us, we still have to live with the repercussions of just knowing these things are happening to our family members, our friends, and in our communities. Each tragedy is a reminder of the evil in this world, and tragedy upon tragedy can make us question what good is left in the world.
In the case of the Sydney siege, one girl inadvertently started a campaign on Twitter to help Muslims travel safely when she said she would ride with them. #Illridewithyou became huge in just a matter of hours and has been a way to bring together that community in the midst of tragedy. This is just one story in response to one tragedy but it reminds us that…
The evil in this world is not enough to corrupt every heart.
We can thank God for that.
In times of tragedy, we can be part of the problem or we can be part of the solution. Jesus has called on us to love one another and tragedy against humanity can be the ultimate test of our hearts when we look at how we respond. There are those that use it as a photo op (yes, people took selfies outside the cafe in Sydney), those that use it for financial gain (news ratings), and those that have nothing to lose by offering to help. From where I am in the United States, I chose to pray for everyone affected and involved.
In regards to the sin in this world that keeps plaguing our souls, I have this reminder – Jesus is our refuge. We cannot barricade ourselves away from all of the negativity in this world but we can turn to Him for comfort at all times, especially when we can’t find comfort in an unsafe world. I know that there are some reading this that are not Christian and may not want to hear that Jesus loves them. I would like to offer this… I love you. I don’t know you but I love you as a fellow human being that has feelings and desires as I do, that has fears and pain that is hard to live with day in and day out. If you can allow me, a complete stranger to love you, then I invite you to allow Jesus to love you as well, even though you may not know Him and you may not know why He cares for you. I’m sure that you don’t understand why I pray for you either. Just as everyone around the world poured out their love and concern for Sydney today, so did Jesus. Imagine this being done everyday for every life and every event! That is the magnitude of God’s love for humanity – rich and poor, black and white, Christian and non-Christian… We are one humanity loved by the one who created us. Let this inspire you to be loving toward each other, today and everyday.
It takes a world of love to rid a world of evil.