We begin what feels like the twelfth month of the year because of all that’s gone on even though it’s just the sixth. Of course I have hopes that we’ll just improve from here, but we’ve entered into a different world over the past few months that is strange and new and it’s too soon to know if it’s good or not. It feels very fragile, almost like what I think it must feel like after an earthquake, not that you’re waiting for another shoe to fall or quake to happen, but just shaky. Of course the latest developments in this very long year are another tragedy and some people aren’t making the best decisions in response. I don’t know how much of that has to do with the last few months and the lack of movement and mental stress that we’ve endured or if unfortunately it’s how some people would have responded regardless.
It’s been hard over the past few months because you want to point fingers about the spread and cause of the virus, but there isn’t yet an exact answer and there may never be, and with as many asymptomatic cases as there are it’s not like you can always say you knew you were sick before you passed on the virus. As much as you can point fingers at those who are being violent in their protests as well as those who practice racism towards others, but again, how much of this is a result of the past few months and how much is a revelation of who they have always been? As my heart was hurting for people who have not only struggled over the past few months but now had their businesses damaged, not to mention for the racism that still happens around our country, I thought about how God would respond or what He might say about all of this.
The first answer I came to was that God is love. John 3:16-17 says “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” and Matthew 22:37-39 says “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'””
This leads to my second thought and that’s that we don’t have to love the actions of someone, but we have to love them. There’s nothing worth loving about some of the actions over the past week, but that doesn’t mean that those people aren’t worthy of love or that God doesn’t love them. It goes along with the saying that you can forgive someone but not forget their actions. Neither loving or forgiving some people is easy, which goes along with many other things we experience in life, but if God and Jesus can forgive those who murder or do other things that don’t seem or aren’t so forgivable or fixable, I think we can at least be open to the possibility of God working in and through us with love and forgiveness.
So this week I’m praying for peace and positive progress, that all of the events of the past months will not be in vain or forgotten, and that we’ll be able to come together again in the future (sooner rather than later) with love, stronger and more focused on truly making this world a better place.