So here's the truth. I'm on Twitter just like everyone else. I see the political climate, the steady surge of gun violence, and also the countless memes and hashtags that range from very inspiring to unfairly condemning. I don't usually contribute to these conversations for two reasons:
1. What can I really say that hasn't already been said more beautifully by someone else, and honestly, it gets tiring having the same depressing subjects brought up every time I look at my phone.
2. These conversations usually end in arguments and division; there's plenty of that to go around without my two cents.
Having said that, this has been a strange season. As a parent to a 3 year old little girl, I often think of the mountain of darkness in this world that she will have to somehow outshine.
How is it possible that we as a "first world" society can be making so many huge steps backward? How is racism and senseless gun violence seriously still such a tangible and seemingly unsolvable problem in 2016, heroes becoming villains on every side of the fight? Furthermore, I'm completely mystified that someone who is habitually belligerent, regularly calling fellow Americans "losers," can still be elected by our nation's citizens as a presidential candidate. This is not an attempt to slander anyone or promote another. This is simply my genuine bafflement verbalized.
I remember the LA riots breaking out in 1992 when 4 police officers were acquitted after mercilessly beating African American, Rodney King at the end of a police chase. My father was working a construction job in Watts, a neighborhood in south Los Angeles during the riots, and I distinctly remember my mother trying to conceal her fear about this whenever I was around. This was one of the first times in my young life that I realized the world was not safe. I was 10. I remember sitting in my fourth grade class having a group discussion about racism and violence as the riots unfolded. As it turns out, fourth graders can be very insightful and eloquent on the matter. Adults seem to have a harder time.
Now, here we are in 2016. There's been enough tragic news stories in our country to fill an eternity, and I won't sit here and list all of the ones that have impacted me. But I have been thinking about where Jesus comes in to all of this.
The fact is, Jesus carried all of this on the cross. All. Of. It. Think about that. Actually take 60 seconds, put your phone down, close your eyes and imagine Jesus carrying the sin of every shooting, every racist remark, every act of hatred, and everything else that has ever happened or ever will happen onto His perfect, sinless shoulders. Go ahead, stop and really think about it. I'll wait.
Okay, welcome back.
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.' ”
1 Peter 2:24
We tend to picture Jesus as weak, but His magnificent heart was the only one strong enough on earth to bear such weight. The part of this verse that strikes me isn't just that He bore our sin in His body, but that by His wounds, we are healed. What good would it have been for Jesus to carry that sin if the result didn't have healing power? It's our healing, His resurrection, the power and love we can now walk in that turns all of this horror into victory.
I'm still searching for exactly what that healing victory is supposed to look like in the context of recent events in the news. I know it means more than just feeling better because we as Christians have hope. Love takes action. I know I'm praying for light to shine in the darkness and asking God how He wants me to be that light.
So all this to say, in our tweeting and snapping and protesting and news watching... Let's remember that the Author and Finisher of our Faith carried all of it. He is victorious. And while this world can be very bleak, our Savior lives and calls us to be His ambassadors; a city on a hill. Let's let our Love be louder than their hate. Our Humility stronger than their pride. Our Faith bigger than their doubt. We have to love our enemies and speak kindness into the dark. It is then and only then that we will truly be a light to the world. Gungor said it well, "if it's us or them, it's us for them."
We serve a Jesus who is alive and nothing that blurs our vision of Him can make Him any less victorious over satan. When all is said and done, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Take heart; He has overcome the world.
~ j e n ~