"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer."
Romans 12:16-21, 13:1-4
I don’t post things like this often, I tend to just keep them inside and dwell on them. But tonight, I feel like I need to ask all of us to pray for the leaders of the world. Heavy decisions sit upon their weary shoulders and they need all the help they can get in making the just, honorable and righteous decision. Maybe you don’t beleive in God, or a god, or a universal spirit that binds us, all of us, together, but I just watched a video depicting the tragedy of August 21, 2013, and sometimes I just need to hope that things will be set right. That things like that shouldn’t happen and when they do the malevolent forces that cause them will face their own wicked fruits. That there is a sense of justice that will win out in the end, and this is my plea for hope. My prayer for justice.
The part that really gets me is that this happens everyday. Maybe not Sarin gas in Syria, but other tragedies brought on by the wickedness of men. Oppression of minorities so ingrained in our behavior that it isn’t even recognizable by most of its practitioners, starving children who live three miles away from you, dehumanization of women through violence by their husbands and fathers. When faced with these realities, no amount of scrolling through my Facebook page or Twitter feed can make it dissipate. Everything that I see holds no value, no significant message in seemingly endless cascade of inane posts and updates about your workout regimen or kitten videos or photos of your vacation or pictures of your dinner.
But then I see you laughing on the beach with friends, hugging your children, your parents, your neighbors. Posting pleas for donations to charities that give potable water to those who don’t have it, clothes to warm the poor, food to nourish the hungry. I see you supporting, encouraging, and more importantly, living a sustainable lifestyle through patronizing local businesses and belonging to community supported agriculture. Posting random deep thoughts and inside jokes and engaging the world in a humorous, meaningful way.
And maybe that is the message. That I live the life of the beloved, and so do my close friends and family, and in that I may find solace; comfort. It is my hope that if you are reading this, you realize that you are also living the life of the beloved, and that even in the face of unspeakable horror you hold out hope to shine on those like me who need it when the world feels so bleak and those for whom the world appears to be much, much bleaker.