I don’t know how it’s possible to not be affected by the incredible amount of hatred and violence going on around us.
This past weekend was a reminder of the uncertainty of life.
Of the way that one person’s hate can affect so many people.
Of how dark the world we live in can be.
And of course, it is not just in the United States that violence and crime take place. There are news articles everywhere about the violence that is taking place across the world.
Just three months ago, at least 30 people died in Brussels from a bombing, Last November, a shopping complex in Lebanon was attacked killing at least 43 people, also in November was the Paris attack that killed more than 100 people, and now the Orlando attack that has claimed the lives of 50 people.
But here’s the thing about the numbers.
The only number that matters to each family is one.
It is their son. Their daughter. Their brother or sister.
That one life that was tragically taken is what matters.
Of course all the lives matter. But not the way that that this one matters to them.
If it is violence that affects one person or 100 people, it is just as tragic.
As I have been watching Facebook, instagram, twitter and blogs blow up as people respond to this, I couldn’t help but wonder.
What if we are all wrong?
I can see the people who are calling out this group and that group.
I can see the people who are using this as a platform to push their view of guns, or political views or religious rants.
And where does that get us?
Of course I have a view on the gun issue. I have a view on the political issues. I have a view on the gender issues.
But what does my stating that particular view actually prove?
It gets the people who agree with me to like my status, band together with me and fist bump.
It gets the people who don’t agree with me to block me, tell other people about my different view than theirs and possibly even get them angry with me.
BUT. What if we are all wrong?
What if my views are wrong?
What if your views are wrong?
What if it doesn’t even matter what our views are?
The bottom line is not that black lives matter more than white lives matter more than gay lives matter more than blue lives matter.
The bottom line is that all lives matter. Period.
I don’t know who ever started all of that labeling with the ____lives matter, but it gives the impression that we as humans are the ones who decide which lives matter more.
If you read the Bible, you will find the very simple truth that all lives matter.
You will find that Jesus chooses to lump all humans into one category:
That’s who Jesus loves.
That’s who Jesus died for.
Not a specific people group. Just the world.
So what if we are all wrong on our views?
It doesn’t even matter.
Jesus loved the world, so I should love the world.
Jesus shows grace to the world, so I should show grace to the world.
Jesus gives mercy to the world, so I should give mercy to the world.
I don’t get to pick and choose who I love, and how much their life matters.
I don’t get to pick and choose who “deserved” love, mercy or grace.
NONE of us “deserve” any of that.
My job is to love the world.
My job is to serve the world.
My job is to pray for the world.
So yes, I am praying for Orlando.
But beyond that, I am praying for the world.
For a world that needs to look beyond their misinformed information about who Jesus is.
A world that needs to stop basing their view of who Jesus is on a blog post, an obnoxious christian, or an outspoken atheist.
A world that if they put down any preconceived notions, and put down pride and the need to be right, would see that the Jesus I serve? is incredible.
He is loving. He is kind. He always wants what is best for us.
And maybe if more of us who really and truly follow Jesus did a better job of keeping our mouths shut and our arms open to the world, the world would actually get an accurate picture of who this Jesus is.
Not the Jesus with an agenda.
But the Jesus who died for the world that he loved so much.
So tonight I am not writing to talk about my views on gun control.
I am not writing to talk about my thoughts on the whole gender issues.
I am not writing to talk about religion or politics or agendas.
I am writing to let anyone who doesn’t personally know a Christian to see this: I am a follower of Jesus and I believe that my job is to love the world. It is not my job to rant and rave about my views and how they’re more right than your views. I just want to love the world.
And I am writing to my fellow Christians to remind you to do the same. Don’t worry about the heart issues of other people you don’t even know.
Just make sure you are loving like Jesus loves. Let Him take care of the rest.
And for all of us?
Pray. Pray hard. Pray for the world.