Today marks one week since we watched as violence erupted all over Paris. Families are being torn apart, losing the ones they love. Not only in Paris, but in Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Missouri…everywhere near and far. We clearly see the undeniable evidence of paradise lost.
Terror and violence, leaving people displaced–not just physically, but emotionally, and spiritually too. Refugees.
I’ve wrestled with how to address this issue, in this space, where we daily share articles about loving our neighbors–where we talked extensively about just who is our neighbor, but even as I write this now, I feel guarded, and unsure, and small.
If we confess our fears, there are some who will call us faithless.
If we say we have no fear, others will call us liars.
There doesn’t seem to be room for wrestling.
I don’t have clearcut answers for a messy struggle. But I know that we’re called to love one another.
All week, I’ve watched lines being drawn in the sand, friends standing toe-to-toe on opposite sides of the arguments. I’ve watch professing Christians, with differing viewpoints, cut each other down with profanity and name calling on Facebook.
With every stabbing word, my heart twists into knots. This is not the way.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another ( 1 John 4:11)
Lines being drawn, more posturing. More pride, more hatred fueling hatred. Division, discouragement, disappointment.
And noise. So much noise.
Where is the love? I wonder.The other day, I told one of my children that sometimes, (all of the time?) it’s more important to be loving than to be right.
Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:5-7)
This week, I’ve read numerous articles regarding the treatment of refugees, and proclamations about how we are to respond to those who stand at our gates and knock–as a nation, as Christians, as fellow humans.
And if I can be honest, I’m weary from the conversations.
But I want to love–I want to be loving. I want to hold space at this table for you too, you, who may also be wrestling–come sit beside me.
I think it’s possible to have hard conversations, and show love at the same time. I think we’re called to.
I’ve gathered a few links from some friends around the internet who have written far more eloquent words about current events. I’m mulling over these words this week, and praying for God to show me what He wants me to hold on to.
If you’re not too weary, maybe give these a read, and pray–ask God to show you specifically how to love your neighbors well.
We All Want To Go Home … Christie Purifoy
The World Is Scary As Hell, Love Anyway … Jeremy Courtney
Syrian Refugee: “I Saw My Father Killed On YouTube” … David Rupert (I encourage you to read the other articles in this series David is writing)
What articles have you read this week that have challenged or inspired you to love your neighbors?
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