November 7, 2017
On Sunday night, on my commute home, I decided to call a close friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas and recently found out that she and her husband are pregnant with their first child. I asked how she is feeling and she told me, “I am nauseous and hungry, like all the time.” She was in the middle of making dinner and doing meal prep for the week and her husband was still at work. She has two dogs who are getting up there in age but doing well. We talked about how we would spend the holidays and she asked what was new with me. I told her “Not much, I’m pretty boring.”
Then she asked if I had heard about the most recent shooting that had just taken place in Texas, which I had. After having experienced a mass shooting in her own town recently she was pretty upset to say the least and asked, “what is happening to the world? Can you believe I am bringing a child into this?” I couldn’t disagree with her that the world is horrifying as of late; it is heartbreaking and faith-shaking to witness such acts of hatred and violence take place. And there seems to be no end.
But then I told her about the All Saints service that we held at First United earlier that morning, how the powerful music of voices and instruments coincided with the moving sight of so many lighted candles, each of those candles representing the life of someone loved by our congregation. I envisioned all the candles that would be lit to represent those who died in all these recent shootings. Each candle representing senseless loss of life but at the same time representing love, love for the one who has died, a burning love for them, still and eternally carried by the people who miss them.
I told her I completely understood her questioning bringing a child into this world, how can you not? But I also encouraged her to choose, choose to see that she is playing an important role in being a part of the solution to our world’s problems. Because she is bringing in a new generation and with each new baby born into this world hope is born with it, hope for more love because that is what this baby will receive and be taught to spread, hope for equality, justice, and peace because these are the value’s that she will pass on.
With every heinous act of racism, violence and injustice committed I admit that my heart breaks a little more as I know God’s does too. But I choose to respond with and seek out love. I choose to believe in, fight for, and hope for better. What do you choose?