As I sat attempting to press pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, which doesn’t sound as nice but is more accurate) the feeling of being completely overwhelmed took over.
What do I say?
Do I talk about how completely insane this world is? How the problems seem too big to fix? How race issues and violence and evil seem like they’re taking over more and more every day but I know, I know, that God is good and ultimately in control and remind you and me and all of us to hold on to that hope? I’ve already said that. Two years ago when I was shocked at where the world was and I had no idea of all that atrocities that were waiting.
Do I talk about how stupid it is for people to compare issues? To say “why should I care about that problem when this exists?” as though we don’t have the mental capacity to care about two wrongs in the world at the same time? To say that those who have been hit by natural disasters deserve to be cared about and so do people shot for attending worship and so do people facing racial bigotry every single day of their lives and so do the innocent unborn and so do those massacred for attending a concert? I’ve already said that too. I’ve already said Christians need to be concerned about life for both the unborn and the born and every human is worthy of respect. Worthy of dignity. Worthy of compassion.
Do I talk about how obsessive patriotism is in danger of becoming one of the biggest false idols in our nation today and the church is bigger, the church is better, the church is far more valuable than a nation and we need to start treating it as such? How we need to start treating people like we believe that? Said that too.
Do I talk about how in light of all the evils of the world, Christians need to go out of their way to be compassionate? To not be seen as people who care more about protecting our security, our rights, our guns, our own sense of rightness, than the human beings in need. Human beings that, as Christians, it is our spiritual duty to care about?? Yeah, said that. More than once, actually.
But sometimes it feels like nothing changes. Nothing seems to be getting better. And I’m just one small voice on one small blog. What I say doesn’t make a different in the big scheme, I know that. But there are bigger, better, stronger voices than mine have made similar calls to action. Voices worthy of respect and listening to. And still, not much has changed. Not much seems to have improved.
We still keep treating people like they’re less than us. We still care more about our own pride and comfort and just our own selves in general more than we seem to care about others. We still assign judgment values to other human beings created in the image of God based on arbitrary, asinine notions that we create in our own minds and forget that one of the core values of Christianity is to“in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
There’s nothing new to say. All that comes to mind is this:
“One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”
Press on, my friends.
Press on in hope. Press on toward the goal. Press on in imitating Paul, who was imitating Christ. Press on in confidence of our citizenship. Press on in love. Press on in the belief that the evils of this world are temporary. Press on in holding true, in being mature, in keeping our eyes on Christ.
Press on in doing. Love isn’t a passive, abstract thing that simply emits out of us to make things better. Jesus loved by doing. He loved by healing, so “that the works of God might be displayed.” He loved by feeding, so that he could teach that He was the true “bread of life.” He loved by sacrificing Himself, because He knew that there was no purer, greater way to show His love. Press on in loving like Jesus, in giving of yourself until it hurts.
We are not the first to face the evils of the world. If the world continues, we won’t be the last. Our peace today remains the same as the peace of Christians thousands of years ago. Our responsibilities remain the same as well.
There’s nothing new to say, no words of wisdom to offer, no simple cure-all for the multifaceted darkness and evil in the world. I offer only a reminder to keep pressing on. To keep showing love and compassion and Jesus to others, more and harder and stronger with each passing day. To keep having confidence in a better life after this one. Just keep pressing on.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5