78 By the tender mercy of our God,Does your heart ever break when you open your Facebook feed. This has happened to me a lot lately. Sometimes this is where I receive news first. I find about people shot by terrorists, people shot by mass shooters, people tortured by Chicago police, people killed by police, global weirding events, and then the just hurtful memes and quotes of hate. The quotes bothering me today are
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ Luke 1:78-79
"I've always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them," Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University
“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.” Donald TrumpHate is spilling out of our airways. Hate is filling our ears and eyes. Words hurt. Words are powerful. So I need my words to speak of love, to speak of peace. To say no, this is not what I believe. This is not ok for people with power and influence to say and believe. I want to share with you the words that come from the Jesus I follow.
‘But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31Now I don't want you to think that I believe that Muslims are our enemies. I believe there are some fundamentalist Muslims out there who have an ideology that does want to fight us and believes that we have a culture that is destructive. But that group of Muslims is not all Muslims and not even all of the people from a country that is predominantly Muslim. There are Muslims who practice a different form of Islam, there are secular Muslims, and there are nonmuslims within those countries.
Mr. Trump while you believe we have no choice. We do have a choice. We can choose to love, to practice peace. To stand with our fellow humans and say that hate is not okay. I get the fear. I have thought about going to the movies and whether I will be shot. I understand there is fear and worry. I understand there is anger. But the answer is not hate. The answer is not to carry guns to take out Muslims. The answer is not to close our borders. We do have a choice. We can choose to love. We can choose the path of peace. On my wall I have picture which says,
"What is most important is to find peace and to share it with others."
Thich Nhat Hahn
"If you make one peaceful step, than peace is possible."
Thich Nhat Hahn
I don't always succeed in following the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hahn. I get angry. I get angry when I see hate and racism. I get angry and then I have to take the next step, the next and often a few hundred after that until my steps allow me to feel peace once again. And if I can make one peaceful step than I know that it is possible to overcome hate, to release anger, and to build a world where love is the answer.
So once again this week my prayer is for "God to guide my feet in the way of peace."
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing. Edmund Sears