Our nation burns, shatters, screams, cries, moans and tears apart before our very eyes. What could I possibly do?
Perhaps we could start with anger.
Anger is not an unrighteous emotion. Action from anger is also not inherently unrighteous. Jesus turned over tables of those defiling the house of God in unjust ways, if you need at least one pretty clear example of a pretty righteous guy doing a pretty openly “destructive” thing.
There can also be unrighteous anger.
And there can be unrighteous action from righteous anger.
But it is often so hard to tell in the heat of any moment that we should be careful to quickly speak and judge. We are, after all, to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – especially in response to the anger of others. Sometimes all we can do as Jesus-followers is absorb, listen, weep, pray – at least for a moment.
Sometimes we may be called to act – to step into righteous action flowing from righteous anger. Other times we may be called to stand between a righteously angry person about to commit unrighteous acts. But most of the time, we’re probably given the gift of enough time to step back and discern: what would God have me do in this situation? Or at least to try. Perhaps now is a good time for that.
Finally, unless you are passionately called to go to a hotspot (please don’t go unless you’re compelled by the Holy Spirit), you are probably a lot like me – just sitting somewhere reading this wondering what you might possibly be able to do to help “fix” or “heal” our nation’s wounds right now. The key is in this: you’re sitting somewhere.
Take a moment to take stock of your friends and surroundings and your community.
Ask: what words and actions can you add to your community today that might be words of peace, justice, healing, friendship, love? It may be as simple as a text or a kind word – it may be as painful as pepper spray, or worse. Whatever it is, when you think of something, ask the Spirit to let peace settle on it – even if it’s a hard thing. Then take that action – whatever it may be.
Lord, help us.
Grace and Peace,