“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God. Trust also in me.” – Jesus
What about when violence seems to be in the water we drink, in the air we breathe, the rule of the day? What about when lives of children are taken without a second thought, gunned down on beaches, in airports and by drones taking out whole families? When a president of a private Christian university encourages students to arm themselves and take out people of a different religion?
How do we live in these days when politicians skew all decency, and accusations fly through the air waves, thick with fear and racism?
Do we pull back and hide, stockpile goods and arms? Protecting ourselves and a few others perhaps? I seem to recall One saying, “If you choose to save your life you will lose it.”
This terror, this fear is like a vortex, spinning out of control. If you get too close too, it will suck you in and down.
There is another way. It is a way that refuses to lump people into categories of other, evil, enemies, or sub-human. It chooses instead to pray for, to bless, yes, even love our enemies. It chooses to reach out across barriers to the other, the one who is different, has a different hue to their skin, or language on their tongue or culture I do not understand. It chooses to seek understanding and to bridge the gap rather than build another wall.
This is the path of peace, the way of love, the road to life.
Here we are today Maundy Thursday, approaching Good Friday, before we can get to Easter. What lessons are still here for us to learn as we see Jesus throw off his robe, tie a towel around his waist, pick up a basin of water and wash his fearful, doubting, even betraying, disciples’ feet? This, a precursor to what was to come the next day. He laid down his life for all. He calls us to follow Him.
“Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”
There is a way through these times. One deep breath, one step, one prayer, one cry, one embrace at a time. It is a humble path, and no one is saying it is easy. Is it possible? Well, what is impossible with man is possible with God. Let’s choose this path of peace instead of participating in the destruction of our planet.