We were at Disneyland when I received the text from my sister: “Are you close to the shooting??”
“It may be terrorist. Many are dead. The shooters have gotten away heavily armed.”
I live one hour from there. My husband drove through that very area just the night before.
I felt my heart collapse into my stomach as the first thing I thought was: “What if it’s another Paris?” I looked at my babies and felt the pure terror fill my entire being.
And the country waited. No one knowing what was to happen next. It was three hours later that they caught the couple, and everyone sighed. But I still could not fully enjoy my day. As I saw so many happy faces in this magical little place of Mickey Mouse, I could only think of all those families. Many of whom had probably been one of these own excited faces here at one time, now without a mommy, a daddy, a husband, a wife… What if it was my husband there that day?
The next morning arrived and I dropped my kids off at preschool. And I felt that small sense of terror once more. Because I live in a world full of so much darkness. And death. And shootings. And school shootings… And these are my babies. The terror tried to grip me again, but I forced it out of my mind. And throughout the day I pushed it aside over and over again. Clinging to the only thing I have: my faith.
For the past three days I have clung fierce to my faith. To my God. To something called “Christianity,” full of so many rules and regulations. That’s what were accused of, right? Well, that and wanting people’s money. And it’s true, the rules are so many. So demanding. So strong. But the rules are what I needed these days. Because they are what give me hope that there is such a higher calling than fear. These are the rules:
Love your enemies.
Pray for those who persecute you.
Do good to those who hurt you.
Weep with those who weep.
Feed the hungry.
Clothe the naked.
Take care of the widows and orphans.
Love the unlovely.
The rules… What if we all followed the rigid requirements a little more, whether we claimed the name of Jesus or not? What if we all gave some more of this thing called money, and the orphan found a glimmer of hope? What if these rules were fiercely carried out by all? What kind of world would it be?
They will never be followed by all, we know that. But it can start with one…
As evil and sadness and terror tries to fill our hearts these days, let us lean on that much stronger word: love.
And a little faith, that love conquers all…