People are hurting.
This world is a savage place, ripping souls and sending them forth to hemorrhage all over other broken hearts.
Children are cruel. Youths are ruthless.
Adults may be better at hiding their daggers, while still using them.
Sometimes I just want to scream, "What is wrong with people?" Why do families prey on their own offspring? Why do children turn on their own parents?
We see it, you know, when a father pimps out his daughter, or a mother steals her child's psych medicine for her own recreation. The gross selfishness is repulsive, nauseating. The perverted personal indulgences make us cringe and gag. We see it so clearly in the microcosm of a small family system. We are horrified when a 20-year-old college student, whose father died in a tragic accident years earlier, goes home from school one day and kills his mother with a knife.
But on the larger scale, we all belong to the family of humanity, yet we prey on one another in ways we never even consider, those of us who think we are good, who still live selfishly: grabbing, hoarding, amassing, gloating, flaunting, rationalizing.
It isn't safe to live unselfishly. It is reckless to give away our treasure to those who will not treasure it, who will use it for a short time, and then cast it on the rubbish heap. Us and them, and we're all so flawed, so wounded, so selfish and afraid.
Yet, there is beauty. God does not leave us without a remnant of His beauty.
Venus, the morning star, shining radiantly before
newly opened flowers,
cumulus clouds (glorious creamy dollops),
shadows and dappled light,
forests of grand, quiet trees,
the warmth of a young dog,
tiny eggs in a nest,
No wonder it's healing to escape into nature. Immerse yourself in God's creation. He will heal you there, away from humanity and its byproducts, be they factories, fast food wrappers blowing down the street, or fractured bones from a domestic dispute.
Watch a butterfly on a coneflower and let the Lord restore your soul.
There is no answer in fretting, in anger, in taking offense, in being offended.
The most egregious aggressors harbor the most deeply damaged souls.
The only answer is to hold out grace, to give at great cost, to make ridiculous sacrifices.
The only answer is to do what Jesus did for us, and lay down our lives for others.
But it's terrifying, full of risk. It will hurt. They might not appreciate our gifts.
No. They might not appreciate us. In fact, they probably won't.
But they might, and if they do, it will make the world a different, better place. A place of grace, which is the only way.
They might not appreciate us, but Jesus appreciates every cup of cold water offered in His name. He is the one we serve.
We serve the gracious one. He sees, and He loves us.
If God is for us, who can stand against us?
Dear Lord, please pour your Holy Spirit into us so we can spread your grace throughout the world. Fill us. Overflow from us. Teach us how to heal by the power of your love.
Your kingdom come, your will be done.