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In this world of shootings and suicides, is love REALLY all you need?

I don't understand how we got to where we are today. How can it be that an unarmed 18 year-old young man (of any color) could be shot eight times by people hired to protect U.S. citizens? How is it that a man known for witty antics and a joyful spirit could take his own life?  Why did a dear family friend, a strong swimmer, drown in a lake on his family vacation? Things like this aren't supposed to happen. We are outraged, saddened and depressed, when things go askew, and rightly so. The question "why" is on our lips, as tears fill our eyes. There's a sense of anger, and dis-ease, when what is right and good and true does not prevail.

These events of late have made my heart heavy. Very heavy. Molten rock, ton of bricks heavy.  And yet.

And yet.

I know in my head that evil does not always prevail. I have witnessed moments of love, hope, and peace this very summer:

- at a wedding when the bride and groom took each other's hands, for the  the last  time as separate individuals and for the first time as one because this time it was for forever. And the love was palpable and deeper than any rom-com kind of love because it was grounded in truth and purity.

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- in Israel where I heard a Palestinian woman tell of her brother who was shot by an Israeli soldier, and an Israeli man told of his 14 year-old daughter who was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. And I saw these 2 very different people--enemies, really--weep and smile and embrace each other and call each other brother and sister.

in protests because people's voices raised in righteous indignation buckle the knees of evil.

in a pillow where the impression of a person's head reminds us that even when someone is gone, their impact remains.

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Just as light pours through the crack under a door, love seeps in and pierces the darkness. It is uncontainable. And unstoppable.

And where human love reaches limits, a greater love transcends them. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I maintain that in the middle of the hard and the wrong, the disgusting and depressing, the hopeless and disheartening, love is STILL what is needed most of all. It can be found. It can be felt. It is present. For it is truly ONLY in love, that wrongs can be redressed, evils confronted, injustices fought and wounds healed.

 

 

Three things to do when you feel helpless (none of which is "to curl into a fetal ball")