Social Justice

A Cry in the Darkness

Winter park at nightSometimes silence is the only appropriate response to tragedy. But sometimes our hearts cry out louder than the silence…piercing through the darkness, pleading for an answer. Where is God in the midst of all the hate and killing, the evil and the madness? Where are WE?

If God is good and loving, how can He allow horrific things to happen? We question how we can trust a God who allows darkness to prevail over our lives. But how can we NOT trust Him? The other alternative is to trust ourselves, to trust in humanity—but look what we’ve done to ourselves. How can we trust ourselves when we are capable of annihilating one another? Such evils have come at the hands of men intent on following their own selfish intentions. Yet following God’s ways, we would know and be empowered to “do to others as we would have done to us” and to “love others more than we love ourselves.”

We question what has become of God’s peace and provision. Where is His barrier of protection over us? But we are the ones who have erased the barrier. We’ve told God we’d much rather rule ourselves, even to the point of destruction. We’ve told him we don’t want Him in our homes, in our lives, in our schools…in our world, then we look and wonder why He’s not there when tragedy strikes.

God has stepped into the darkness of our world, offering the hope of reconciliation. In Him, we have the shelter of hope in the midst of our storms. There is no guarantee our lives on this dark earth will be safe. Men bent on following their own ways are constantly penetrating the barrier God has offered to provide.

And yet, in God, there is hope even in the deepest depths of darkness—that we were created for something far greater than what we’ve settled for. We were made for a world where there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain.”

In times like this, we cry out to God in words much like those of this prayer by Max Lucado: “Lord…Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence…

“Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene…

“Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.”

(Originally posted on the Eternal Encounter blog in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy)

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Me Too

“Me too.” These words have sparked a revolution. What was hidden in darkness, now brought to light by one phrase. A silent, hidden fire burning to surface. Things that should never have happened…DID. This world is not as it should be, and women have been assaulted, harassed, and victimized as a result.

It’s unfortunate to think I wouldn’t be surprised if “me too” appeared as every woman’s social media status across the globe. And I wonder what would happen if women throughout history were given the chance to lend their voice.

I’m reminded of a woman who, centuries ago, would have great reason to join in the “me too” campaign. She was ostracized by society not only for her gender and race, but also for her reputation. The supposedly upright of society shamed her to the point she ran errands at odd hours of the day just to avoid the crowds. Although, men with depraved appetites would gladly seek her out. She was used to it.

Until she met a man who was different.

He wasn’t interested in what she could offer in the way of physical pleasure. Instead, he was interested in offering her something of greater value. Something that would satiate her deepest thirst. You see, she was so used to being treated as an object of men’s gratification that she’d started to believe it to be true. As she sought pleasure in being the source of others’ pleasure, she suppressed her truest self, her greatest needs, her noblest of desires. In essence, she’d buried herself alive.

But Jesus spoke to her with respect. He treated her as the valuable treasure that she was. He listened beyond her words, into her heart. And he knew her in the way she was meant to be known. And as a result, he sparked a revolution that changed her life and that of her community.

That was his way. Not just with her, but with all the women he encountered. They were treated with dignity and honor in ways no man of that day, or of history beyond, had done.

That’s what I love about Jesus, and why I choose to follow him. I’m thankful that he’s set me free from all the false notions of womanhood set forth by society. I’m grateful to know my purpose is so much more than many men of today would say of women. I am not an object. I am a treasured creation of a loving God, who prepared in advance good works for me to fulfill.

50 Shades of Love (the Sequel)

In a culture of hate, the temptation is to harden our hearts,

but love is the only thing that can overcome evil.

Source: 50 Shades of Love (the Sequel)

50 Shades of Love

The truest of loves involves self-sacrifice, not self-gratification.

Source: 50 Shades of Love

Love is…SAFE

Romans 13:10 from Google Images Dear, precious child,

Do you know how loved you are? You were specially created for this time in history, to do great things in your generation. You were uniquely designed to love and to be loved with supernatural, self-sacrificing, unfailing love.

My heart grieves for you. I’m burdened because you’ve settled for so much less than what you were made for! Love is so much more than what you know, so much greater than what you’ve seen.

Right now, there is a grave deception battling to turn you away from true love to a counterfeit replica. This imposter tells you that you lack value and worth so much that you deserve to be horribly abused and robbed of your very identity to gain any sense of intimacy. Please, hear this ancient truth: love will never bring you harm. Love is SAFE.

You do not need to be chained and beaten by a sadistic monster to gain true affection. Love does not manipulate you with fairytales of diamonds and penthouses and helicopters. Love does not seduce you with lies only to leave you tortured, broken, and alone. Love ALWAYS PROTECTS.

If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, you CAN walk away. Get out as fast as you can. The chains that bind CAN be broken. It’s better to walk alone than to be bound to a lie that will destroy you in the end.

And, please. Be careful what you see. Be careful what you hear. Lies most often come cloaked in light, poised to lure you in only to leave you blind. Don’t allow yourself to be entertained into the delusion that you are less than what you are.

Sincerely,
Love

Source: Love is…SAFE

The Weak are Made Strong

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We may not be able to solve all the world’s problems, but we all have something to give. We have talents, skills, and resources to contribute to the cause. We all have a voice, no matter how quiet, no matter how frail. The weak are made strong in the hands of a mighty God.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Scarf, Close, Market, Colorful – Free Image on Pixabay …

What the Average Person Can Do

Blog_DandelionBreezeWe see the need, we feel compelled. We hear the statistics, we feel overwhelmed. What can one average person do?

That’s how I feel when I listen to news about human trafficking and other injustices in our world. Powerless. Voiceless. Insignificant.

There has to be enough professionals out there to answer the cry of our ailing world. Certainly there are people far more talented. And the rich have infinite resources.

Yet with all the professional, talented, rich people in the world, there is still no end to suffering. Either those with such great resources are not answering the call, or skill and wealth aren’t enough to solve our problems. Or both.

One day Jesus was preaching and people were hungry. Thousands of them. No one in the crowd felt they could meet the need. But a little boy contributed five loaves and two fish, and Jesus multiplied it to feed the multitudes.

I imagine that boy felt powerless, voiceless, and insignificant for much of his life. He thought he was just…average. And yet, his small sacrifice multiplied to make a miraculous difference.

We may not be able to solve all the world’s problems, but we all have something to give. We have talents, skills, and resources to contribute to the cause. We all have a voice, no matter how quiet, no matter how frail. The weak are made strong in the hands of a mighty God.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)