In the chaos of life – metaphoric stop signs, important intersections, and confusing roundabouts – it is good to check one’s bearings. Sometimes one doesn’t sense being lost. Yet when a friend drops in, checking to make sure you are on the right path, everything becomes clear. In these moments you discover the heart of life – the love, mercy, and of relationship which sustains everything.
When I take this experience to a community level I find myself looking at life differently. I no longer see terror as a call to battle. Terror and the people behind, when seen through compassion, sympathy, and love, gives way to the struggle in how to deal with its origins. On one hand we defend ourselves against the outcomes of hatred, frustration, and revenge. At the same time, with our other hand, we take on the wicked problems which gave birth and nurtured to terror itself. With both hands and heart we hold on the fact that in both hands we hold human life. Our action will play a role in our future as well has theirs.
The challenge is immense! It is far too easy, extremely natural one might say, to be angry when our boundaries are broken. Yet the challenge is the same as God faced in times of old. When Divinity said, “In just a short time my anger against you will be spent and I'll turn my destroying anger on them. I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will go after them with a cat-o'-nine-tails and finish them off decisively—as Gideon downed Midian at the rock Oreb, as Moses turned the tables on Egypt. On that day, Assyria will be pulled off your back, and the yoke of slavery lifted from your neck.” (Isaiah 10.25-27) The focus then and now was on all sides of an issue – not just those on the attack.
Today I focus on the state of my heart. I reach out to God for recreation and life. In turn I can give this gift away – knowing this is the first step in dealing with the heart of the issues.
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