All weekend I have been in a funk over the recent events in France and Beirut.
When I sat down yesterday to write a blog post on the subject nothing would come out, and then when I flipped over to Facebook and watched person after person hate on Muslims, I wrote too much. (Sorry to the folks that had to witness me loosing my religion on my Facebook page....) All I could think about were the friends I have who are Muslim, and what must be going through their minds and hearts as they witnessed all of these horrible things that were being said about them as people. I thought about a close friend of mine who is a Muslim and serves in our military, protecting our freedom, and who is just as "American" as you and I. And the more I watched friends spew ignorance and hate, the more I hurt. I stayed up most of the night wondering how God could let this happen to His children. I questioned what my roll in this equation was, and was I wrong for not hating? I prayed for the people who lost their lives. I prayed for the refugees that have been displaced through no fault of their own, and for the families that are now separated and can't go home. I prayed for the victims and their families, the doctors and medical personnel who worked around the clock to save lives, and the strangers who came together to love one another. I prayed for humanity and peace. As I prayed though, one word kept coming to me and that word was love.
There is evil in this world, evil that is hoping to tear us apart. It wants to snuff out the good in the world, and make us question our faith. Well, I will not allow evil or hate to win. I will not allow the vileness of this weekend to cause me to respond with anger. I will respond with love and grace.
I will continue to love my neighbors and to stand up for my ALL of my brothers and sisters no matter their race, religion or sexuality. I will continue to recognize that not all Muslims are responsible for the heinous acts that took place this weekend, and I will not condemn those folks for what a radical sect is doing in the supposed name of their religion. I will continue to stand by the offer that, as long as they don't mind a little dog hair, the refugees that find themselves homeless and hungry are welcome to stay at our house. Why? Because I stand strong in my faith. I know the walk God has asked me to walk. It is not easy and sometimes I don't understand, but I have faith that I am doing life right. And when I get to Heaven, providing God still accepts me after my Facebook rant last night, I want to proudly say without hesitation: "You commanded me to love my brothers and sisters so I did. You told me that in order to love you, I must love my brother, so here I am!"
As this week progresses and we struggle to understand what is happening in the world, I pray you can do so exuding tolerance, empathy, grace and above all else: LOVE.