Life these past few weeks has been so disheartening, everywhere you turn there are stories full of destruction, heartache and pain. It’s enough to down even the strongest of us. Just this morning I was reading about a teenager who was tortured to death and spent years in a home full of abuse and pain. I couldn’t help but weep as I read about this poor child’s life and demise. And just a few weeks ago the headlines read about a large family with many children that experienced similar torture and horror on a regular basis. And last week, multiple teachers and students lost their lives in a school shooting. The evil around us can feel so strong at times.
With such atrocities, many are struggling to make sense of what we hear, and desperate to find solutions. We can’t fathom losing a child in such a horrific way, and we can’t grasp that a parent would treat their own child with such hate. Evil has existed since the beginning, and will continue until the end of time. We live in a country where that evil hasn’t trampled our daily living like in other countries, so it’s sometimes hard to grasp what evil really “looks” like, and then it smacks us in the face and we struggle to understand it.
While I have many thoughts, opinions and feelings about the “issues” being discussed post tragedy, it’s clear to me that as a society we have lost our way with handling such tragedies. One minute on social media and you can’t help but feel bombarded with opinions and causes. Just today my computer time included gun debates, food assistance debates, pleas to care more about third world countries, and stories of human trafficking and road rage attacks. It’s a lot, especially considering that was intended to be an enjoyable experience, one where I pop on and see what people I care about are up to, not what they feel about this or that issue.
I try not to be too “in your face” or forceful with my thoughts, because I believe we all have something to offer the conversation, but the conversation is happening in the wrong place. It’s time we all turn off our phones and computers, and actually talk to people. Nobody is gaining anything from the painful social media posts and debates, so just stop it. Rather than engage on a platform that eliminates the fullness of human interaction; go have coffee with a friend, invite a neighbor to dinner, volunteer at the food bank or career closet, bring a basket of cookies to the neighbor or teacher or coworker who is making your life difficult, or simply smile at strangers. Engage people. This is where the conversations should happen, and this is where people coming together can make a real difference.
The one constant in all of the stories consuming the media right now, broken and isolated people. While there are many forms of brokenness and many needs in our society right now, it’s safe to say that community is lacking. We’ve become so connected to the digital world, we’ve forgotten we live in a real world with real people. So, while many will be on social media creating enemies and causing division with senseless debates, I will be pursuing real people and hoping to bring a little bit of light to a broken world. People loving people will always be a more effective tool of change, and that is where one can truly change the world.
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God…”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”