Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Summer of Sadness

I sit in my bedroom looking out on the beautiful lake just beyond our seawall.  There's a breeze blowing, not a cool one, but at least the air is stirring.  Flowers bloom, ducks paddle by, and birds light on my patio screen peeping in at me.  Inside my heart is breaking at the news of yet another senseless act of violence.

I remember well when the word murder was spoken so seldom that I was startled when I heard it.  Now it's not just one or two but 32, 49, 27 people.  Crazy numbers created by crazy people and shoved down the throats of those of us who abhor hate and violence in all forms.  People are killed because they are gay, or black, or wearing a blue uniform, or are too old to defend themselves, or are too young to know they should be at home in their beds, or because they are children sitting in a classroom or because they were in a mall at the wrong time.

And the violence isn't just physical, but verbal as well.  We hurl accusations at people because someone's speech writer didn't give credit to someone else's speech writer for words that have been spoken or thought by thousands of Americans before them, or maybe it's because their designer coat cost more than my first house and the opposition's dress cost less than my weekly grocery bill (and maybe we're just jealous because we don't have that beautiful coat or dress!), or because someone's e-mail was leaked as if any e-mail is ever safe from prying eyes.  The f word is used like it's everyday common language and it sickens my soul.  We hate each other, or act as if we do, because our political views are not the same, or our forefathers committed acts of atrocity that we never had a part in, or we grew up thinking one sin was worse than other sins, and other people's sins were somehow worse than our own.

When will we ever learn that love is the only answer to a world full of hurting people?  Can't I love you and you love me and can't we live in peace raising our children to do the same?  Can't you worship in your own way and even though I don't understand, can't I respect it and you?  And can't you do the same for me?  Can't we teach our children to respect all people, no matter their annual income or their gender or marital status or their religion or their address or their skin color or what kind of uniform they wear?

Recently my husband and I traveled through Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria.  We've been to England and Ireland and Israel and Mexico and Canada.  And you know what?  Every country we've been in is filled with people just like me.  And just like you.  Men and women and children getting up in the morning, eating breakfast (and some not having breakfast to eat), going to work and school, kissing their children and hugging their wives or husbands, patting their grandmother's head, living their lives.  Just like me.  All of those countries...full of people, just like me.

I know, I know....there are sick people out there who commit unholy acts.  But those unholy acts start small.  They start when another kid in class bullies them, or when they aren't chosen for a job because of the color of their skin or because they couldn't afford to dress well for an interview, or when they're excluded from the "in crowd" or people who profess to love their neighbors look right through them and see only their "sin."  They start when their parents tell them they don't have to respect the principal or the teacher or the policeman.

I don't care if you are Democrat or Republican, but honestly I wish I didn't know which of those sides you were on.  I don't care if you are Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or no religion at all, but I wish I could only know that by your actions, and I wish that all of those beliefs resulted in the same kind of actions....loving your neighbor.  I don't care if you are black, hispanic, asian, or caucasian.  I don't care if you are gay or straight or something else entirely.  My faith tells me that God made you in His image and you are, therefore, beautiful.  I will try always to treat you that way and if I don't then you have my permission and my encouragement to call me on it.






43 comments:

Gloria Cotten said...

Amen! Beautifully said! Thamk you.

tpott said...

I pray that there are more people with beliefs like yours! Heart of my heart, I feel the same as you. I'm frightened each time I watch the news. Bless you! ;-> Toni Anne

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Beautifully said.

Teresa said...

Amen

maria demina said...

I absolutely agree with each and every word you wrote, Marlene! You are so right! I can tell you that I feel the same and think the same... Thank you for making this post for us!

Irene said...

Hai ragione Marlene e adesso qui con il terrorismo, abbiamo paura di fare qualsiasi cosa, di andare a un concerto o al supermercato.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

I agree on everything! You wrote it right! I also unhappy events in recent years. It appears that it is still worse and worse. My question is: why? We are all equal and we all have a right to life!
I send cordial greetings to you!

Marie Rayner said...

I am with you totally on everything Marlene. It just saddens me so very much. I hate to turn on the television. Its heart breaking. xo

Carol S. said...

My thoughts exactly! Thanks for this wonderful post!

krislovesfabric said...

Amen

Robin in Virginia said...

Bless you Marlene for putting into words what many of us are thinking. Well said and well written!

Cricket-bug Corner said...

Very nice

Gail said...

Amen.

Jeanie said...

Amen, Sister! It just seems so simple, doesn't it?....to just treat each other as we would like to be treated. I saw a billboard the other day....don't know who to credit this to...but it said "All crayons are diverse but they live in harmony in the same box." Simple, but true. I comfort myself knowing that God is in control, whether it looks like it or not. My prayers will continue and I refuse to let hate win! Blessings to you!

Kyle said...

Beautiful thoughts this morning. Thank you

Lesley said...

Thank you for your wonderful, wise words. Ditto...

gpc said...

Yes, the Golden Rule. I am increasing convinced that the answer lies at least partly in our attitude, our ignorance and fear of mental illness. So many of these seemingly evil people turn out to be people who are tortured by illness, with a long history of symptoms that show that they need help. I am hoping that we will someday be willing to invest the needed money and research and training and treatment to help people and families of the mentally ill. Most mentally ill people, of course, only hurt themselves and not others, but if we can step up and show compassion and offer treatment to them, I think we will also reduce the horrible results of the few who turn to violence.

Julie Fukuda said...

And ... Who is my neighbour?
Anyone!

marly said...

We have more groups preaching hatred than your message. They are fueled and incited by political groups, some by individuals wanting notice and more money, by hypocrites with villas and multiple mansions demeaning others for not spreading wealth, and the list goes on. Children being raised by the poorest excuse for a mother. Total lack of accountability, the breakdown of our schools. We have never been this divided and it will only get worse. Too many agendas and personal goals are the forefront, dividing not uniting. Those demanding tolerance, are those that do not have it for others.

Carol said...

So well put, Marlene... I feel the sadness more each time I open the newspaper or turn on the television. It makes me so very sad for my children and their future children...

Terri said...

I could not have said it better!! Wonderful post!

Needled Mom said...

So beautifully written, Marlene. I couldn't agree with you more.

Anna Bates said...

(((hugs)))

Lola in Minnesota said...

Beautiful words! I couldn't agree with you more!

Judy said...

I understand what you are saying. I recently heard a talk which has really woken me up. In fact, sewing doesn't seem as important any more. Jesus is coming soon! The bible says these things are coming, where the earth will grown. We need to get ready or we will be lost. You have pointed this out very clearly. I hope others see, I know I have.

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

I agree Amen

paulette said...

I feel your pain...and see it on our nightly news here in Canada. My heart goes out to you and all Americans! If you want a country filled with love and free from violence you are going to have be very careful who you vote for in November! The decision seems crystal clear to me...
Big hug to you!

sunny said...

The world has become such a frightening place. I don't even want to turn on the television anymore. Let's just all get along and love our neighbors.

Mdm Samm said...

Marlene, you have shared what many of us have been feeling. There is such an imbalance in our world... I get updates from CBS every day, I hold my breath when I open it because lately 2 x a week, it reports something horrific. When I read about a sweet priest in his 80's no less was killed while in his church...I fell apart. ( that was just the other day in France, not far from where I used to live, I had gone to this church) WE need more LOVE, more forgiveness, more kindness...I know in my heart it still lives there...
so AMEN....x

Sharon Dawn said...

So true! I keep thinking if each of us moves forward with the little world we each live in, maybe we can make it better overall. Take care 💕

Lindah said...

Thank you for that, Marlene. Beautifully written.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

A beautiful post. I have to agree. It's exhausting to the soul to have to read, and listen to this. It feels like it is spiraling out of control.

You make beauty wherever you are, people like you will always triumph.

Hugs my friend.

Debra Graham said...

No one could have said it better Marlene.

Mary said...

I totally agree with you. When will it stop? Love is what is needed by all.

Adrienne said...

Well said, dear friend. We need to start loving our neighbor at home so it will spread to the world around us.
~Adrienne~

KimM said...

Well said. I agree wholeheartedly. Amen.
xx

Gail said...

Amen. Beautifully written. Hopefully we will begin to heal and begin to change as a whole.

FlourishingPalms said...

Sad. True. Eloquent. You've tapped into the core of our problems, and I couldn't agree more with your understanding of it. You've expressed it well. Now if everyone could read and understand what you so beautifully wrote, we would be living in a better world.

Martina M said...

You speak to me from the soul. For me, the man is important. No matter where it comes from, what color it has, what religion. It is important that you deal fairly with each other.
Greetings Martina

Gabri Ercole said...

Really a sad time for all World!!We hope in God!!a big kiss

creativity amongst chaos said...

You have put so much thought in your post today Marlene. I do my best to turn a blind eye to the reality of the world we live in. All of the focus on things that are so negative perpetuate the problem for me as my heart sinks and I am left sitting in wonder as to why these things go on.... I do my best to bring lightheartedness and sweetness to everyone around me, and what more can each of us do? My heart is too tender and better focused on the goodness that surrounds me. Thank you for being part of that for me. x

Mary Burnette said...

So well said, I just don't know what gets into people these days!

Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Perfect in every way.