Still We Rise

In the midst of tragedy and crisis, where is God? Truth is, God is everywhere if we have the eyes to see. God is in all, if we have the hearts to feel, God is present if we have the soul to receive. As we watch the videos of how the horror unfolded on innocent lives in Las Vegas, we are burdened by the weight of sadness. In spite of the evil intention of a madman, God was in the midst of His people. Angels of mercy and might all around. Some ushering the innocent into their eternal home, others as friends, family, first responders, police officers, firefighters and the list goes on. Evil showed up but God prevailed in ways beyond imagination. Shielding thousands from a hailstorm of bullets, making a way out of what would have otherwise been a mass grave. God comforting the lost, as they breathed their last breath. God empowering the survivors as they performed heroic acts of courage.

Somehow we know all 22,000 people are heroes. When the worst of humanity reels it’s ugly head, the best of humanity responds in ways beyond imagining. We, who watch from a distance, are humbled by the tenacity of the human spirit. Stories of selfless heroism, beyond human strength and angelic compassion keep us bowed in surrender and voices lifted in prayer. As in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico and now Las Vegas, when it’s time to rise, we rise without hesitation.

The question that begs to be asked is this, “How will you rise?. How will we each of us respond, after the chaos has been cleared away and the news stories subside. This tragic event demands a personal response from every person within the sound of its’ thunder. That response must be Love in Action. Here is my request. Let love lift you up, your actions, your words and thoughts.

  1. Carry the woundedAs you saw the wounded being carried off of that killing field to safety, you too have the opportunity to carry the wounded. Those people wounded by anger, hatred and neglect on a daily basis, are all around you.
  2. Act in kindness, even when it isn’t returned, for perhaps your act of kindness will be the very one that softens the heart that has been hardened by a difficult life.
  3. Let your speech be respectful. Do not perpetuate angry, hateful, vile speech, for it only brings about more of the same. Refrain from participating in degrading, disrespectful social media posts and conversations, now and forever.
  4. State your position in an edifying way. Remember opinions are like noses, everyone has one. What makes you right and another wrong? Differences of opinions can be brought into the open without degrading and destroying another. Just watch Jimmy Kimmel’s video on his response to the tragedy in Las Vegas and you will see what I mean.
  5. Be patient with everyone, especially your children, spouse, neighbor, coworkers, etc. Patience is what love looks like. Patience can be hard and so can love, but in reality, what other option is there?
  6. Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, shelter the homeless and support the grieving both literally and figuratively. There are those hungry for acceptance and appreciation, those in need of respect, those who are isolated and need connection, and those who simply need someone to help them cry.

We human beings have a will, therefore, unlike all other creatures, we can make conscious decisions for good, for the sake of love or to perpetuate evil. Someone else’s poor choices and destructive behaviors is not a good enough excuse for the rest of us. We can choose God, love, peace and harmony while at the same time speaking our truth and standing for what heals.

There are only three things that matter and three things that will last, faith, hope and love. We ourselves are wounded, too empty to cry, too angry to speak, stunned by these days, but still we rise. Why? Because God is, because hope never gives up and faith will not let go, because truth must be heard and because the greatest of all these is love and love will always prevail. Always.

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