Everywhere you look in New York there are shopping bags. Traditionally one might assume that only women would use bags to carry anything more than items recently purchased from a particular store. No longer! Men and children alike use bags to ease their journey. I did not ever imagine that I would see a middle aged man lugging loose, well used, items in a Bloomie's bag on a New York subway. I would never believe that I could spot a teenager taking his school books in a brown Macy's bag. Paper, cloth, and plastic are all in fashion. After a few days in New York I am wondering if I should exchange my knapsack for something from Saks.
I always wonder what is in bags when I cannot see over the top. My fear is that someone will leave a bag unattended, nobody will notice, and the bomb explodes near innocent children. Is there an easy way to spot the bad guys? Can I automatically exclude the mother struggling with children? What about the pierced and tattooed kid who looks forever angry at the world. Is danger lurking just beyond my view?
As I reflect, I realize that we all carry packages with us. Even when our hands are free, our thoughts and tongues run on without regard. The blunt fact is that “the loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction; the common sense of the godly preserves them.” (Proverbs 11.9) My tongue and the one found in your mouth are weapons that had hurt far more easily, frequently, and effectively than any terrorist's actions. It is scary to reflect on just how many times I have spread destruction without thinking. I cannot imagine or appreciate just how far the pain extends.
The destruction does not need to continue. There is a way to break the cycle! The answer is God. God is all you and I need. Nothing else, no other solution or person, will take away bomb within. Today I offer to carry the package God gives freely to each; love, acceptance, and mercy.