A Response to Evil ...
Sometimes.. Life makes me stay up late and rant.
And sometimes I feel like I need to share that.
I am up late tonight, tossing and turning, soaking my pillow in tears, desperately sad and furiously angry. Why? This world is so very full of injustice. Full to overflowing.
Somewhere over the ocean, 21 Christians were beheaded. 21. And my heart is breaking right now. I saw their faces, their names, the image of them lined up on the shore… and I can’t help but feel a wild grief for those faraway men. Why? I do not know them, after all….
“It’s just another tragedy in a broken world, Jacquelyn. Say a prayer, hug your people close, thank God for the country you live in, and move on.”
Those things are good, and I will certainly do them. But NO. I cannot look away, I cannot dismiss this, I won’t. It hurts my heart that they are Christians, my brothers. But even if they were not, I would still mourn their loss—perhaps even more so, because we know that those who die in Christ also rise to life in Him…
Why do I mourn these strangers across the sea? Simple- because every person on this earth is infinitely valuable. To dismiss that inherent, infinite value is to discard a life. It is to be the masked men lined up behind them, swords at the ready. I will not do that. Instead I will sit up in the darkness and weep for the loss of these precious lives. They are worth sadness. I will be angry at the evil that caused this. I will kneel on that shore, where their bodies laid broken, and dig my fingers into the blood-soaked sand and I will cry for them and cry for my God to restore this place, to bring glory to triumph over evil. That is what I am doing tonight.
I can’t even hate the people who did this- I am crying for them as much as anyone. For underneath those masks are people whom my God loves with an unfailing love—even now, he loves them still. I wish I could hate them, I want to have someone to blame. Yet they, too, have infinite value. How this must break our Father’s heart…
Part of me is furiously angry, also. I want to scream “where are you, God? You could have stopped this- all this senseless violence. You should have done something!!” But then my furious heart stills at the sight before me.
My Jesus. Bent low before his captors, they with their weapons and he with his wounds, cross weighing heavy upon his shoulders. His precious blood staining the sand. And I know he was there on that shore, right next to those men, kneeling with them, his blood and theirs mingling. I see him reaching scarred hands towards the masked captors even as swords sliced sharp and life ebbed away. And oh, the love in His eyes.
Now I am weeping for the fullness of that love. Love that kneels on bloody beaches and comforts prisoners in war-torn lands, but love that is here as well.
Sitting in a dim bedroom in the middle of the night with my neighbour and her newborn.
Love that keeps company at my friend’s bedside as she fights illness, breathing raspy and body weary. Love that knows every corner of this old house, and covers every sweet soul that slumbers here, some more peacefully than others.
Love that calls wayward sons home and offers rest to weary bodies.
Love that offers peace in conflict, joy in pain, hope in trial. Love that wraps around every single one of us, no matter who we are, where we are, or what we have done.
My Jesus knows and deeply loves every soul spinning wild on this planet—and today that is enough. My God, OUR GOD, is enough.
Enough for lifetimes of painful yesterdays, the tragedies and triumphs of today, and for thousands of uncertain, unknown tomorrows. Oh the depth and the breadth of His great love for us, his people. Oh, how he loves each one of us. And He will bring restoration to this place once again. In these things, we find hope.
- By Guest Blogger Jacquelyn Morran