So many things have happened in the last few weeks.
So many terrible things that seem to solidify the thought that this world is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad place.
I’ve watched another report of a mass shooting, another report of terrorism across the world, another report of political posturing in response and I’m terrified of mankind’s ability to destroy, kill, dehumanize and belittle one another.
So much hatred and sin is in and around us.
I’ve followed our presidential elections and been horrified by the actions, words and lack of ethical and moral character that I’ve seen. I’ve watched the news and tried to keep up with the Brexit vote only to watch as the world suddenly became much more vulnerable, unstable and fragile. The uncertainty of what it all means is disconcerting and scary.
So much political unrest, division and deception.
I waited for my car today at the tire store and overheard a woman judge, berate and hold in question all the parents who have had children die in horrible accidents lately. I have no idea if any of them were negligent but what I do know is that I’ve had scary moments and made stupid mistakes with my own kids but I still believe I’m a pretty good parent. I also know that I can’t imagine the pain they are probably going through.
So much tragedy and loss.
So much arrogant condemnation and ignorant judgementalism.
Just so many awful things that have left me numb these last few days (and months for that matter).
So many times I’ve wanted to write….tried to write….but deleted it because I had nothing encouraging to say.
And then there was yesterday.
Insignificant to most but profound to me.
My daughter had a tonsillectomy.
I was called to the recovery room where I saw my beautiful 20 year old coming out of anesthesia and in some pain. Not fully awake and not fully aware. Not quite a child but not quite an adult. This baby of mine that is fighting to find herself, judged by some, questioned by many and loved by me.
And she had so much love.
I was in awe as I saw the core of who she really is manifested in her semi-conscious state. A state in which she wasn’t preoccupied with the fear of rejection, hatred, death, division, unrest, tragedy and sin that our world throws at us. When, for a moment, she was free to be who she really is at the soul level. What I saw strengthened me and gave me a solution to the problems I had been burdened by.
She could barely hold her eyes open or speak without slurring but she knew every nurses name. She remembered details about their families or their job. She was concerned with how they were and if they were having a good day. She was grateful that they let her take her stuffed panda into the OR with her. She thanked them for every cup of ice and everything they did for her. She answered questions with a respectful “Yes mame” or “No mame.” She wanted to thank the volunteers who made the beautiful blanket that she was so excited about taking home. She wanted to thank her doctor for taking care of her. She worried about the man next to her that was coughing terribly. And she wanted to tell me every few minutes how much she loved me and how good a mommy I was.
And I melted.
Not just because it was so sweet and I love her so much but my heart literally felt like it melted.
In that moment I was reminded of the only weapon that I have been given to fight the darkness in this world. The only hope that we have to truly live in spite of the mess around us. The only force that Christ used to turn it all upside down.
We have so much to learn about that little word.
As they say in The Princess Bride, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means” may apply to us all.
I don’t think we have eyes to see what a powerful action it truly is and how it can change the world.
I don’t think we realize that it can even change the way we perceive danger, darkness, death and loss.
There is no fear in love and it is beautiful.
So, as I sit here late into the evening and realize I haven’t written a thing in months, I feel certain that this is worth writing.
We are called to love.
Without ulterior motives, without prejudice, without judgement, without fear, without self-promotion, without expectation…..simply, totally, freely and passionately.
We are called to love.
God sees, God weighs, God convicts, God judges, God punishes, God rewards
WE are called to love.
And, maybe, if I can do that, the darkness of the world around me will become less scary. Darkness doesn’t scare our God. Psalm 132:19 says “even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” The darkness is still evil and scary but it holds less power over me when my focus is not on this world but on God’s kingdom. So, come what may, good or bad, my path will be certain. I won’t find myself lost or confused about what to do in the midst of the chaos. As long as I can remember what I’m called to be and to do in the midst of it all, I will have hope and power to stand against whatever I’m called to face. Because no matter what terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things I may see or face….
I am called to Love.