Think Globally, Act Locally
"and now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13
Orientation, Disorientation, Reorientation. These are words theologian Walter Bruggemann used to describe the rhythm of life in the Bible. There was orientation - when we lived in love with God and one another. There was disorientation when this love was broken and there was chaos. Then, there was reorientation when the community worked together to realign itself - it's practices and beliefs - back to God and one another. For the last several days, we've all witnessed the destructive power of disorientation. The death of George Floyd has triggered protests and calls for justice. Unfortunately, it's also incited violence, rioting, and looting across our nation and in our own backyards. So, what can we do? How can we respond? How can we serve as the hands and feet of Christ? First - LISTEN HUMBLY A phrase that's running through my mind these last few days is "Think Globally. Act Locally." In our context, this is a reminder to acknowledge the broader issues, the pain, the hurt - not only of protestors, but peace-keepers - not only those who choose, but those whose lives are involuntarily impacted by the present circumstances. Rather than dismissing the current unrest as the unfortunate result of a few knuckleheads inciting violence, let's listen humbly to the stories of those who are hurting. Let's listen sincerely to the cries of our neighbors. Let's listen to calm and clear voices in the media and government. If we want to address the problems, let's do our best to understand them. Second - ACT WITH LOVE Jesus does NOT teach us to overcome violence with greater violence. He does NOT teach us to respond to hate with hate. Instead, our Lord teaches us to overcome violence with love. He reminds us that the only path to peace is love. So, let's use this time to BUILD relationships. CONNECT with friends and neighbors ENCOURAGE those who are afraid. PRAY for clear heads and compassionate hearts. SPEAK out against violence and injustice. SHARE our gifts, our talents, our time with anyone in need. TEACH our children that they (and all of God's children) are precious. Friends, we cannot do everything, but we can all do something. There is no quick fix, but we can all be part of the solution. Praying for you (and with you) for peace.