Last week our community laid a beloved young man to rest and we were utterly shaken. On the following Saturday, I attended the funeral of a precious young friend who left us too soon. We were shaken to the core. On Sunday morning, we awoke to the news of the mass shooting at a club in Orlando. We were beyond shaken.
If you are like me, chaos in this world gives me great unrest. When despair circles all around me I ask God, am I next? I become anxious wondering if my family could possibly be on the tragedy list. Who is protected? Who is exempt? Who does NOT suffer? As I read my devotional this morning, this verse presented itself and I found peace realizing that the only true place of safety is in God´s arms.
´I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me. For salvation comes from him alone. Yes he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress. Why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?´ Psalm 62:1-2
Aren´t we all shaken? Aren´t we all waiting for rescue? For salvation? We are all cracked and scathed and healing and searching and hurting and hoping. We are all united in that way. We are all united in imperfection, all scared human beings starving for the same things: love, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, understanding.....all searching for a Rock and a Fortress. And isn´t that what Jesus is? Isn´t he the rescuer of all souls in despair? Isn´t he the greatest love we have ever known?
My friends, when you feel afraid, when you feel shaken and rest will not find you, love like Jesus. Love unconditionally. Love with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul. And give that love openly to all. Give that love away freely to those that are not like you. White, black, clean, high, straight, gay, drunk, sober, obese, skinny, tall, short. Not like you. Because I believe that is what Jesus would do. He would wrap those different than him up in so much love, their pain would diminish and their tears would be no more. Their hearts would transform and their lives would be touched and their differences would become unrecognizable.
A little girl in our town whose parents are divorced is swimming with her dad´s town´s swim team this summer. It has been mentioned, lovingly, that she is wearing the wrong color of swim suit. That little girl, my little girl, could be swimming for a team in Montreal and love them just the same. She sees no color. She sees no judgement or biased nor draws any lines. She just wants to swim and love every one of her teammates and her opponents. Love everyone that is the same and everyone that is different. She teaches me every day. Just swimming mom, she says. JUST SWIM.
In the wake of these tragedies and all things dark and unknown I ask you to look deep into your heart and remember that we are in this world together, on the same team, looking for the same things, trying to live in hope and love and happiness. Weary of the sadness and fear and heartache. And ultimately just trying to find a place that is safe and friendly. Dancing at a night club or having coffee with a friend. Acceptance. Confidence. Compassion.
Jesus said, ´Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.´-Mark 6:31
Tonight before you go to bed or when you wake in the morning, lie still in your quiet place and put your weapons down. Whether it is a sword of fear or an arrow of hate, put it down and find rest. Stand silently before the Lord and let the love that only Jesus can give pour into your heart. Put all of your barriers down, forget all of the colors and let go of all the differences and JUST SWIM.