When you feel helpless in the face of evil, hold fast. There is hope.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds . . . Hebrews 10: 23-24
There are pictures and stories of carnage everywhere. In between losing football games and going about our dailies, we all pause to shake our heads in sorrow and shame and confusion at so much evil in this world. We feel small in the larger scheme of things. We wonder what there is for us little people to do when evil organizes and attacks. How do we live in a world where gunmen rain down terror in the middle of a music hall? How do we guard against bombings in sports arenas? How do we gather in restaurants to relax and enjoy each other when every car that drives by may shoot through the windows?
Within our modern, Americanized Christianity, we like to convince ourselves that evil lives only in video games and Disney villains. We like to pretend that hell is an imaginary place. But when we come face-to-tv screen with evil breaking upon the shores of the civilized world, we wonder what on earth to do.
We can take everyone’s guns away and we can legislate ’til kingdom come. But the evil that fell upon Paris won’t heed our laws.
We can change our social media profile pictures and pray together in our churches and synagogues and mosques. But the evil that rounds up any religious group anywhere in the world to kill them because of their beliefs isn’t impressed with our safe displays.
We need more than just our tweets and Facebook likes to force this evil back to hell.
Friends, it is time to take the best of who we are and fight with it. All the goodness, generosity, bravery, and strength we can muster is required. When we feel helpless in the face of evil, we need to fight this evil back with good.
Start in your families: Walk away from drama and embrace the moments where truth and kindness can be displayed. Fight for the good in your families. Fight hard.
Start in your workplace: Choose generosity and collaboration over ego and self-advancement. Slow down so that others may catch up. Tell the truth. Bet on the underdog. Fight for the good and the right things. Make it your business to know who needs a coffee break, who needs a day off, which family needs help getting dinner on the table or presents under their Christmas tree. Finance, leverage, and broker kindness.
Reach across the city and bring groceries to your local food bank. Reach across the state and give to the children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and churches reaching to catch the lonely and broken. Reach across the country, and touch our veterans coming home from war who need psychological care, physical care, and healing in their marriages.
Make it your business to battle in prayer for those besieged by evil. Pray with the understanding that far-away evil could actually touch your family.
Because it can, friend. That evil is reaching.
Sponsor a pregnant mother in need of a place to live and a means to support herself and her baby.
Battle the darkness with love. Fill the far away hearts and homes and villages that you may never visit with the same love and esteem you fill your own.
You know we can do that, right? We can reach all over this earth and touch the dark places. We can train up children to believe the truth that they are children of God, not children of the forsaken. We can teach them that they are worthy, they matter, and that they have purpose. And when the darkness comes? They will be equipped. And they will fight back with love.
Please do not despair in the face of this evil multiplying across our globe. Please know that this is why YOU were born for a time such as this, in this blessed, safe, abundant place. This is why you are equipped with technology, education, time, and money. This is your chance, in each breath, to rise up against the tide of evil in the world and push back with all your might.
Stand up today, my friend. Endeavor to live better, give more, and love fierce. Endeavor to fight back with love.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Titus 3: 4-8
May God be with each of us as we endeavor to fight back this evil with love. In the end, Love always wins.