I opened one of the many Lent devotional subscriptions I have this year to find just a few short words that really got me thinking (no, this isn’t a post about faith/spirituality). The words in the email were:
Violence doesn’t create anything.
As the world reels from the fire at Notre Dame, as the news sites share about murders and accidental deaths, as we work our way out of what was a brutal winter for some and head towards what may be a difficult summer for others, as we think about the people who have died tragically early that we personally know or know through TV and the internet, again I’m strongly considering the question of what makes people think violence and hurt/hate are the answers to anything?
I’m a creative person as you can probably tell, I enjoy writing, reading, painting, cooking, sewing and even occasionally gardening. The only thing I really enjoy destroying is dirt. Of course I feel some level of satisfaction when a person who has done great violence or committed great acts of hatred is caught and put in jail, because they caused destruction and hurt for the hearts and lives of many. But I don’t spend my time thinking about the people who hurt others, intentionally or unintentionally, I prefer to spend my time thinking about ways to make the world a better, freer, fuller, happier place for all of us to share.
Today I would encourage you to think about what you’re creating with the choices you make. Are you making choices that have zero or negative impact on the world and lives around you? Or are you making the decision to make a positive impact on the world, even if it requires a little more effort and commitment on your part? Even if you have little or nothing that you can contribute to help Notre Dame, the communities that lost churches in recent arson fires, the people who have been forced out of their country due to civil wars or genocide, or those who have lost their homes in recent months to natural disasters rebuild, you can still make a difference in the lives of those you meet on a regular basis through a kind word or deed, and especially by not letting violence be the answer.