The weekend break from the chaos was well received. Given the pain in many parts of the world, I would have gladly given this to others if I could. As I look reflect, I find myself wrestling with a truth – not every consequence was intentionally created. Stuff happens.
The battles – accusations, uncertainty, and turmoil have been overwhelming. People make statements unaware of their path and outcome. Individuals voice their concerns, often translated as fear, without concern for when and where. Actions trigger response waves, touching everyone within reach. It is often ugly. At a minimum, everyone has to deal with the outcomes. It may mean more conversations. This week it meant a lot more work.
As I look around me, in a distant land a country is dealing with overwhelming pain, anguish, and uncertainty. It is truly chaos! There is little reason for anyone to assume that things will go back to normal in the near future. Basic infrastructure is not working. Help has been promised but it still is not real. Things are dark, even with the light.
Our words and actions have consequences. At times, they go where we did not intent. In an old story, Paul’s words were “fuel on the fire. The quarrel flamed up and became so violent the captain was afraid they would tear Paul apart, limb from limb. He ordered the soldiers to get him out of there and escort him back to the safety of the barracks.” (Acts 23.10)
The fact that we end up in situations because of forces beyond our control should not be surprising. The reality that our actions have unintended consequences is a reality we need to accept. The question to both is the same, what will we do in response?
Will we simply let the consequences of yesterday’s moment play out in the present without engaging?
Will we leave others on their own, regardless of the anguish they are in?
Will we simply do our thing and ignore the communities in need?
I hope not. We are here to make a difference.