Not Again

Not again. Not again. Another mass shooting. Another community in pain, in shock and horror. Families grieving the loss of loved ones. Amid the trauma, stories of those who sounded the alarm, came to the rescue, schools and organizations locked down, and those who ran for cover. Again this nation faces another tragedy due to gun violence.  Dr. Janis Orlowski, Chief Medical Officer stated, “I would like to be out of a job. I would like my team use their skills repairing injuries, but not those caused by bullets [paraphrased].”

Here we are again, as if Sandy Hook did not happen. There was evil present in Sandy Hook, Columbine, and in the Naval Yard, and as I watched the reports in sorrow, there were other reports of the evil;  a young girl killed herself because she was being bullied, an officer killed an unarmed young man, and a young man shot and killed a baby.  Whether it is a mass shooting, or a report of death or destruction, it is clear the evil that so easily beset us is around us.  And yet in the midst of this pain and suffering, this is the day that the Lord has made, and we must show that good does triumph over the darkness.

Recently, I met a woman who started a conversation with me because I smiled at her.  She chatted about different states she had lived where some people weren’t so nice.  With a twinkle in her eye, we exchanged tidbits about families, travels, jobs and race relations.  In a moment, I became a marker for her.   Markers are important because they defined us, and although invisible they tell the world who we are, and what we hold dear.  Markers are the spiritual imprints of love, joy, peace, diligence, patience, and understanding.  They are the byproducts of our relationship with God, and time spent in His presence.  As we spend time seeking God and His will for our lives, we become a powerful marker for a world riddled with the pain of evil.  Our markers must be brighter and stronger than the slings and the fiery darts of the enemy.  Our markers must be places of refuge and love covering and conquering the darkness. These markers proclaim the amazing truth that Jesus loves us, and He won the war.  So, let us turn the Not again, into Yet we win.

O’ Lord, help me to be a marker for some poor soul who is lost, afraid, and alone in the darkness.  Guide me towards and not away from those needing the touch of the Master. Because I know in the end we win.  Amen.

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What is God Doing?

Boston, West Texas, Colorado, Columbine, Newtown, India, Iran, Iraq…..

What is God Doing?  The following is an excerpt from a daily reflection written by Eugene Peterson.  With all that has occurred during the past week, its message is quite fitting.

“What is God doing?  He is saving; he is rescuing; he is blessing; he is providing; he is judging; he is healing; he is enlightening.  There is a spiritual war in progress, an all-out moral battle. There is evil and cruelty, unhappiness and illness.  There is superstition and ignorance, brutality and pain.  God is …against all of it.  God is for life, love, hope, heaven, and against death, hate, despair and hell. [paraphrased].  There is no neutral ground in the universe.  Every square foot of space is contested.  [The enemy wants it all.] 

Just as Jeremiah was chosen as a combatant on God’s side [before his birth], so are we all.  No one enters existence as a spectator.  We either take up the life to which we have been consecrated, or we traitorously defect from it.”     We cannot say, “Hold it. I am not quite ready. 

We are at war.  Our God is in continuous and energetic battle against the forces of darkness.  What is God doing?  He is doing everything for his beloved.  

This was taken from Eugene Peterson, “Living the Message.” Harper Collins 1996