Death and pain and evil are everywhere. It takes a profound lack of love, and a lot of confusion, deadness and hurt, to get someone to this point of violence and anger. And it is everywhere. Rampant all over the world. I have struggled greatly with questions as to why. And how. And what can be done. I wrote about this briefly in my reaction to the Boston bombing: HERE. I also wrote about my reaction to a violence Megan and Jessie and I witnessed a year ago on the streets of Santa Ana HERE. We saw a girl being dragged across the street. Her shirt was coming off and the boy was beating her as she cried out. He slammed her head against the ground while attacking her. Other guys came out, and did nothing, with no emotion or reaction, only to take her inside the house for more. Police came. And in response to all of this, our hearts wretched in horror. First I was just enraged. Then I mourned. See, it is a tragedy for her, yes. But also for those boys. I mourned for them too and for the cold deadness in their eyes. I think to myself, please, it doesn't have to be this way. There is life. There is hope. For them. For each of us. All of this loss of humanity is heart breaking.
I was at a friend's birthday party once, and it turned out that there were some gang members also in attendance. One of them watched Caleb play with some cars. He said, "I used to play with cars once. I was a kid once too. I just grew up too fast." I mourned for this boy. I could hear and see his deadness. I could hear the pain of his life. And I just wanted him to be showered with life. Just for a moment, to experience it. There is always hope, you see. There just is. Because God's light has the power to erase all fear and death. And I wish each and every person who has this deadness could taste it. Because I know what it is like. I don't know what gang life is like, I don't know what it is like to sell your body or to kill or to plan evil. But I know what this deadness is like. I know what it is like to live shut down. I still have issues with this to this day. Sometimes it is all you can do to survive. So you do it. The problem is, when is it safe to come out behind that shell, how do you do it? How do you break down walls that made you who you are?
I know I have said this before, but as of now, my only solution so far to all the mayhem, effects of evil, death and violence in this world, is to love. But really, it doesn't end it. There are still people who rape and take advantage. Still countless children in the foster system who are damaged and hurt. I saw many of these beautiful children when I worked as an intern in a group home. I saw their confusion. I saw that they were lost. I saw that they were looking for validation, yes, usually in all the wrong places. I saw beauty in each of them.
There are more examples of violence against humanity than we can even fathom. It is discouraging, I know. It truly is. And thinking about all this creates this weight that I just have to shake off. Because I can't solve it. I don't know the answers. I just know that in my world, in my way, I can love. Isn't that what Jesus did when he was here? He loved. He saw people for who they were made to be. He saw past the social labels placed on them. He saw past their illness or their titles or their station in life. He saw their hearts. And people were drawn to that by the thousands. To this man who shook off all the rules and regular conventions of their society to walk and teach in love. He is the ultimate example, this controversial Jesus. Why did he concern the religious leaders of the times? Because he didn't follow their rules. He didn't abide by their laws. His ministry was of the human heart. It wasn't about religious practices. This is why I love Jesus. This is why I have always been drawn to him and his example on this Earth.
I'll be honest, I am not very big into rules that divide people and churches and congregation. I don't like them. I respect people's passions and beliefs, and have been to many churches of different denominations. I personally love non-denominational churches. Because I don't like these rules or theological differences that divide. I mean, do what you believe, sure. But for me, it has to be about Jesus and his unconditional unfiltered love for others. You know what makes me uncomfortable? When people with problems that aren't as easy to hide, feel like they can't or shouldn’t come to church. I want to be apart of a church that looks at that broken, bleeding soul and says, "Come, be loved. Be accepted." Because we are all broken. We are all bleeding. Some hide it more than others. Some might even hide behind their judgments of other people and their lifestyles. But in the end, we just must love. And drop the other stuff. Am I the best at this? Hell no man. But I'll tell you what; I am inspired by this example of Jesus. And that is what I hope we can all emulate.
We are lucky you know, to be known and loved by him. I don’t always feel it. I may be hurting and feeling anxious or whatever else, but these truths never change. No, they are transformative. We just have to be open to it and say yes.
On another note, I will say that personally I don't feel comfortable about evangelizing to people. I don't feel comfortable setting out to change what a person thinks or believes. I want to respect them for who they are and what they think. This area is not my forte by any means. But I think if anything, if we just have relationship with others and live out of Christ's love, that's enough. Maybe not for some of you folks, but like I said, this isn't my thing. I know there is a lot of room for disagreement here, and I am totally down with that. I appreciate other perspectives, even if I may not share them. It is important to dialogue and be real with these things.
Anyway, that's all. I was wrote this because I thinking about another tragedy I read about. It's everywhere. Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds." I want this for us. I want this for the world. And sadly, I don't feel like this will happen for everyone. Evil and atrocities will still go on. So maybe, in our own lives, we can just practice this art of love. And maybe it can turn into a life of love, like that of Jesus.