Could this week’s headlines be any more disturbing? Another week of “atmospheric river” weather patterns setting records in California for devastating flooding, mudslides, snow, sweeping across the country as epic tornados destroying thousands of homes, killing so many, ultimately hitting the east coast with record snowfall and often torrential rain. Political unrest, this week Israel in the spotlight. Ecological concerns over drinking water even in major cities. I can hardly say the words, another school shooting. . .
Sometimes I feel like just screaming, “Wake up!” “Wake up!” When will we as a society really get that we need God??!! That we need to live our lives with Him at the center. That we have to stop prioritizing our own self interests over those of our brothers and sisters. That if we lived that way so many of the problems and conflicts wouldn’t arise in the first place. That if we thought about the ramifications of our actions, even our thoughts before speaking, that so much devastation would not occur. Even if you don’t believe in the effect of our actions on climate, how about all the other ways mankind’s actions, or inactions, play a role in the quality of our lives, the loss of loved ones?
We are not powerless. We are co-creators in the sense of what we do matters, from the smallest choices of which toothpaste to buy, how to get to work, where to work, what to say to our children, who to vote for, who to believe, what to research, how to treat others.
It is in that last choice that we can actually make a difference in the world and in ourselves, one that you don’t have to wait for a long process to experience. In this act of free will, treating another with love and kindness, we can see an immediate result, one that brings us, and our fellow traveler in life, a moment of peace, even in this chaotic time in which we live.
Treating others with kindness not only soothes our own soul, for we feel His Love as we love others, but it changes our immediate environment. It changes the experience of the person we are loving, in that one small moment uplifting another’s spirit to feel so loved. We become a vessel to flow His Love to another.
Our smile is more powerful than the strongest weapon of destruction for it helps the recipient understand how much God loves him or her. How can we even think of smiling at a time such as this??!! We can because it is His Love that radiates from us, palpably in that small act, a visual reminder of a transformative truth. If a smile can have that effect, imagine the even greater power of acts of lovingkindness – bringing food to those in need, offering a ride, helping with a chore, checking in by phone, consoling, listening, being there for another.
Our ability to give to others, especially when burdened ourselves, comes from our relationship with God. I make choices when my soul is burdened. I know I need to pray more, read more Scripture, self talk, process in small bites, and I still know I will have to dig deeper at times to be able to go through my day not utterly overwhelmed with grief. My ability to do that comes from the deep relationship I have with God through Yeshua. The dark times remind me of His suffering, how He must be feeling our pain with us even more deeply. This intimacy, His understanding and being right there beside me, helps me get through even the worst events, helps me have hope.
These are the times needing deep roots in Him and with others, especially those who understand our need for Him daily, front and center. It is our close family and friends, and especially our faith communities that help us remember that He is with us through all times, the good and the bad, especially when we, as individuals are struggling to remember that sacred truth.
So I can mourn on the same day that I can smile, maybe not right away given the loss and horror, maybe not as often, but I will get through it, on the shoulders of Yeshua, and on the shoulders of my brothers and sisters in Yeshua who together strengthen each other, reminding us when hard to remember all that He teaches us about the power of Divine Love.