Our outsides reflect our insides, you know. Pain and anger, selfishness and evil bubble and churn beneath the surface until they reach full boil, scalding everyone within arms length. We leave remnants of our outbursts strewn about, the physical scars and relational disintegration undeniable. Smoldering buildings dwindle to shadowed structures against the twilight.
Because we don't have answers and fear reigns. Because we've run out of hope. Because all we've known is confusion and hurt and hate.
Because any excuse to create a chaos that is tangible, visible on the outside, helps us to paint a picture of the chaos that resides within us.
It doesn't make sense, does it? But then again, it really does. We dip our toes into treacherous water when we tell ourselves that we're so different than the ones who rage, much better, morals intact. If we think that we're not capable of horribly bad decisions and yes, violence, under the right circumstances, then our pride has clouded the reality of the harsh world we live in.
How distraught, misguided, and jaded does an average person have to feel to believe that they're entitled to steal and destroy? How long would empathy and connection have to be pounded out of us to shut down our ability to care about the pain we cause others? What would our mental state have to be? How weak our faith?
We don't make excuses, but we can take perspective.
We who live in glass houses constructed of provision and sound teaching, we who are "civilized" and equipped with socially acceptable behavior, we learn to turn rage inward. We learn that if we're not hurting anybody else, then hate and sadness can be hidden from sight, the burden resides on our shoulders alone. Each person's faith is tested when our backs are up against the wall.
Truth be told, self-hate is just as painful to our God who loves us as is the hate we see played out on the television screen.
There will be no peace until there is healing inside every single one of us. These hearts of ours, we're beckoned to lay them down at ground zero, at the cross. We're asked to forgive and we're asked to unite. Most importantly, we're asked to pray.
And so, we cover our brave brothers and sisters of faith who stood with linked arms in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. We cry out for strength for the mama's and daddy's pulling their kids in off the streets, out of harm's way. We applaud and raise up the children sweeping the sidewalks in their neighborhoods in the aftermath. We become a people who are willing to engage in hard conversations and then we do something about it.
Because faith without works is dead.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9
"And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness." James 3:18
"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" ~ Old Proverb ~
Photo Credits: Breno Machado and Luis Llerena
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
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