The setting sun! Full may ‘a gaze. Hath dwelt upon its fading rays.
With sweet, according thought sublime, In every age and every clime!
‘Tis sweet to mark thee, sinking slow, The ocean’s fabled caves below;
And when th’ obscuring night is done, To see thee rise, sweet setting sun!
from “Fugitive Poetry, 1600-1878“
Turn on the news. Open the paper. We see it every day and as history repeats itself, so does the brokenness and pain.
Violence, war, and refugees. Skittles, vitriol, and isolationism. Repeat.
Racism, division, and hate. Take a knee, shoot a man, and riot. Repeat.
Over crowded jails, underfunded schools, and broken communities. Corporate greed, disconnected parents, and political self-interest. Repeat.
What are we doing? Can’t we break the cycle? Can’t we change history? Isn’t there a better option?
Love, listen, and learn. Weep with the hurting, embrace the broken, love our brothers and sisters. Repeat.
Is a Peaceful Plant possible? Is it a lofty goal? Is it unrealistic? Is it foolishness? Is it a lost cause?
Some may answer, Yes. Give up. It’s a fool’s errand. There’s no point in moving forward or trying to change the course of human history. They’ll always hate one another and there will forever be war, strife, and hatred. Whether Hebrew and Arab. Black and White. Islam and Christian. The reality is the same. There is no point in trying.
Some may answer, No. Never give up. Only a fool would stop. The goal of peace is never one to forsake. Perhaps, with a little more effort and the right set of circumstances we might uncover the answer to war, strife, and hatred. Whether Sunni or Shiiat. Democrat or Republican. Russian or American. There is every point in trying. Why wouldn’t make every effort to save humanity from itself? For our nation? For our state? For our children? For our future?
If you chose the first option, you are free and clear. You’ve forsaken any obligation you might have to saving the human race from itself. No further action is required. The world will continue to spin out of control with violence and bloodshed the final result, no thanks to you.
If you chose the second option, if you see light at the end of the very dark tunnel, then a series of questions must be asked, “What are you doing to change it? What conversations are you having? What relationships are you building? What answers are you seeking? What difference are you making?”
Perhaps the change will come slow but it must begin…and soon. Will you help change the world? Will you help make a peaceful planet?
“Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” – Mark 4:39b
The wind is blowing. The storm is raging. The waves are crashing. The boat is rocking. The disciples are cowering.
But Jesus sleeps on; not a care in the world.
It is a dark time. It is a scary moment. Those in the boat, fishermen and laborers, tax collectors and zealots, men from all walks of life have heard the stories of sailors lost at sea. They knew men who went down with their ships in the course of earning their living. They’d comforted widows and orphans of fishermen who never returned. They’d retold the tales and shared the stories. And now they were living their worst nightmare. They were thinking of their own families they would leave behind. They knew they were the ones in peril.
To make matters worse, Jesus didn’t seem to be aware of their plight. He was oblivious to their condition. They were distressed by his disregard. They were concerned about his casual carriage. And they yell out of their fear, “…do you not care that we are perishing?” Not about to perish but perishing. Not heading for trouble but in trouble. Not approaching danger but in the middle of it. We Are Perishing! We are already dead men and you don’t even care.
Isn’t that how it feels today? The winds of racial divide are blowing. The storm of uncontrolled gun violence is raging. The waves of anger and hatred are crashing. Our global boat is rocking and we are cowering in fear, with no hope in site.
And yet, the master of the sea replies, “Why are you afraid?” The creator of the wind asks, “Have you no faith?”
He announced, “Peace” and there was calm. He rebuked the chaos and all was still.
Do you live in a state of fear or faith? Where is your focus? Are your eyes on the waves, or the one who calms them? Are you listening to the wind or the words that bring peace?
I’ve been trying to think of ways to make a difference in this broken world. I’ve been hoping that an answer might enter my mind and work its way to my heart. I’ve been praying for solutions. I’ve been begging for insight. I’ve been dreaming of a cure to the ills that ail us.
But nothing has come. I have no grand plan. I have no vision that will make it possible to achieve peace. I have no agenda or 10-point plan.
And so I turn to you, my brothers and sisters of faith, my global family. What is the solution? What actions have you taken to bring justice to your corner of the world? What movement have you made to help with the healing?
I want to hear from you. I want to start the discussion. I want to have a dialogue of hope and peace. What are your thoughts?
Where in this world do we begin?