In the wake of this latest shooting tragedy, I wonder what I’m supposed to do? I don’t like the violence I see in our world and feel called to do something. I personally don’t know any of the individuals who died or their families; yet I want to take action, to show my support for the victims of this tragic situation. What can I do to personally make a difference?
As I contemplate opportunities, God calls me to let my light shine, to overcome the darkness. How? First, I pray for the families of the victims; second, I stamp out hatred and prejudice in my own life; third, I love others as I love myself, with patience and kindness.
First, prayer is powerful because it connects and aligns us with God. I pray for strength and comfort for the victims’ families. Our hearts cry out at the unjustness of the situation, as God’s heart does too. Prayer for the families gives me the opportunity to align my heart and mind with God’s to take the next step.
Second, I stamp out hatred and prejudice in my own life to let Christ’s light shine through me. Much like a tin lantern has holes stamped to let light through, Christ’s light in my life is hidden under a tin can. Whenever I stamp out sin in my life, I let God’s light shine through that hole. Wherever I perform acts of kindness and show love, I allow God’s love to shine through my life. Whenever I take a stand against injustice and evil, I act as God’s agent in the world for good. The picture created in my life through punching holes in the can is beautiful and God’s doing, but also recognize there are still dark places where God’s light and love have yet to shine through.
Third, I love others as I love myself. To do that, I recognize everyone has value and is worthy to be loved. Even if they don’t fit into the box I would call “normal.” I have family and friends I like. I also know people who are prickly and not pleasant to be around. It takes everything I have to love prickly people, to treat them with respect and do good deeds for them.
God says to love others as we love ourselves. It’s easy for me to love, respect and do good deeds for myself. I love myself with patience and kindness, therefore I should love others using patience and kindness too. It takes a lot of thought and effort to love that prickly person with patience and kindness. It takes time to build a relationship, to listen, to see the person for who they are and not how they look or act.
In Summary: Let God’s light shine. Stamp down hatred in your life. Punch out prejudice. Love others. Do good deeds. Let love shine through your actions.