Fear. It surrounds us cloaked in so many forms, and it is insipid. I am heart-broken over the responses of too many of my brothers and sisters around the world towards the atrocities happening both overseas and at home. Why am I seeing Christians responding in such hateful and unwelcoming ways towards those in need? Whatever happened to us laying our life down for another? Whatever happened to us giving the clothes off our back to one who has asked for only a coat? Is this truly what we have become?
Clenched, angry fists ready for battle are too often the mark of my fellow Jesus-followers. Judgement has become the hallmark of Christians in too many instances. What if, instead, we had hands open and ready to give and to serve? What if, instead, we had hearts overflowing with kindness and mercy? Haven't we read that mercy triumphs over judgment? (James 2:13)
But fear. Fear of "the other" and what they will do to our comfortable lives. Fear of how somebody elses' pain and loss might taint our own rose-colored sky if we let them in. Are we so desensitized and so comfortable that we would trade offering our abundance for the insipid whispers of "what if..." What if we don't have enough to give. What if wolves come mascarading as the innocent. What if our life has to change and our hearts have to break and all that is just too scary.
Fear holds us back from experiencing and offering real love. Where there is fear, love cannot exist in its fullness. "Perfect love casts out fear." (1John 4:18) The closer we move to Love, the less hold fear has on us and on the decisions we make.
So let us seek love. Let us push back against the excuses we have to look away or disengage. Let us push back against our selfishness. If we want to look like Jesus (and I, for one, desperately want to look like Jesus) than we need to run after the things he ran after. He did not run after comfort or security, but instead he put himself in uncomfortable positions time and time again, for the sake of love. And it looked flat-out crazy. Even his disciples were, at times, baffled by the way Jesus lived his life.
But we can be a light. And we can do something. We weren't called to shake our heads and cluck our tongues or to hand out unsolicited advice. We were called to be love in a broken world. What does that look like in your world?
Let's choose to be a light to the hurting and broken today~