What would love do now?
The events taking place in our world right now are sobering. The people who have placed themselves in powerful decision-making positions in our world are faced with the imminent and arduous task of choosing what happens next for all of us. And, frankly, people are afraid. It seems as though every option available at this point carries with it a disproportionate level of negative fallout, the thought of which creates more fear and uncertainty and a growing sense of powerlessness for large segments of the earth’s population, even placing the most agreeable minds in direct opposition to one another as we search and clamor for the best possible solution for everyone.
I think that as we move through the days and weeks, and perhaps even months, ahead, it will be important for us all to pay attention to and tend to any overwhelming feelings of negativity and heightened levels of fear that we may find ourselves experiencing. Fear is an immobilizer. It halts our creativity and cripples our ability to see with perspective and to choose with clarity. So how do we maintain a steady, or even semi-steady, sense of clarity and perspective during these times of turmoil and uncertainty? How do we keep our heads above water and still remain active participants in what happens next?
For me, in my personal life, even during some of my darkest moments, life always finds a way to remind me in sometimes small but always extraordinary ways that goodness and light do still exist and can simultaneously reside with the heaviness and hopelessness…if I give myself permission to see it. Now, that is no simple task in moments which are enveloped with despair and fear, when it feels as though everything I believe to be true is demonstrating itself to be false, and when the kind of God I so desperately want to embrace is not showing up in my life in any appreciable way.
But while it is not a simple task, it is one that is always possible. And not only is it possible, it exists right in front of us, alongside the darkness, available for each and every one of us to see and to experience. Life speaks to us in ways we might not hear if we are not really listening.
For instance, we may want to notice Ehab Sadeek, an Egyptian Muslim who owns a bagel store in Winchester, Massachusetts, who says he will give 100 percent of his profits to the One Fund Boston, an organization established to raise money for victims of the Boston bombings, and will continue to do so until the last victim is out of the hospital, calling the marathon bombers “cowards who don’t represent my faith or religion.” ~ The Good News Network.
Or perhaps we might want to take note that 673 of the brave men and women who are currently fighting California’s raging wildfires happen to be convicts participating in a voluntary program through California’s Conservation Camp initiative, a joint effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which allows inmates to take on the role of firefighters for $1 an hour. “They are in the thick of it,” Capt. Jorge Santana of the CDCR told NBC. “They work 24-hour shifts. They sleep in tents at base camp. They work side-by-side with other firefighters.” ~ Huffington Post Good News.
Then life also gave to us Malala Yousafzai, who, on her sixteenth birthday, nine months after being shot in the head in an assassination attempt by a Taliban gunman in northwest Pakistan, addressed the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York with a wish for universal equality, universal opportunity, and universal education. Once targeted for death because of her outspoken advocacy for her own education and those of other Pashtun girls, she now speaks on behalf of women and children everywhere. Her message is one of fearlessness and hopefulness. It is an inspiring call to justice. ~ The Daily Good.
How could we ever truly forget Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper in Atlanta, Georgia, who single-handedly prevented yet another mass school shooting by simply talking to the suicidal gunman with compassion and understanding?
And what about the man who stops to offer his jumper cables to the person with a dead car battery? Or the people in the vehicle in front of you at the drive-through who randomly and generously paid for your coffee or purchased your meal? What makes a person stop in traffic to carry a disoriented turtle gently to safety on the side of the road? Or the individual who just happens to come into your life at that perfectly timed moment and in that perfectly designed way?
Seemingly small examples? Yes, perhaps they are. But these are the moments that make up this thing called Life. These are the golden strands of opportunity and hope that weave the fabric of our experiences and remind us of who we are in relation to each other and why we are even here in the first place. We would be well-served to continue to contribute our energy into the bigger happenings in our world, yes, to consciously choose with our voices and with our votes and with our money. But we are equally well-served to incorporate and welcome the goodness of life into our experience, to strive for a sense of gratitude amidst the chaos and change, and to see the way God is moving through it all.
What would love do now?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)