Selfless Love In The Face of Senseless Violence
Today I was paralyzed when I found out about the shooting in Connecticut. I immediately thought of the terror of being a child in that school or a parent of a child at risk. The pictures literally brought me to tears and left me completely numb and unproductive.
I paused and prayed for the victims and their families. I even prayed for my own kids, who go to daycare at a preschool, and my wife who teaches at that school.
I continued to watch the news and just couldn’t move on to continuing to plan for a sermon on Sunday knowing that multiple children lost their lives in this tragedy.
This year we have discovered that my daughter loves Christmas lights. The other day she asked my wife why our house didn’t have Christmas lights. My wife was gracious and told her to talk to me. My wife, Brittney, loves Christmas lights, but also knows that I hate putting them on the house. Literally, I cannot stand it.
So my daughter came to me a few weeks ago asking about Christmas lights. Of course I melted and decided I would put Christmas lights on the house. But I never told her yes or no. I purchased Christmas lights a week ago and sat them in the garage until the appropriate time. My hope was the appropriate time might be sometime next year, or never. Even though I hate ladders and I really cannot stand the fasteners that are apparently designed to hold the lights on our gutter, I found myself walking into the garage and getting the ladder and lights.
I think it hit me that every day I get with my family is truly a blessing from God. Even more, every opportunity I get to serve my family is a blessing.
I am a selfish person. Although I know how much my daughter would love to pull in the driveway tonight, greeted by colorful Christmas lights, it is something I don’t find pleasure in, so I am reluctant to follow through.
Well today, I put up the Christmas lights. It took me less than an hour and I know it will mean the world to my wife and my three-year old daughter.
I feel like we need selfless love in the face of senseless violence. Not just in the small and silly ways, like I am doing today by hanging Christmas lights, but in big ways as well.
Scripture teaches that the way we love one another is incredibly meaningful. Jesus said this, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
Our selfless love, like the selfless love of Jesus, even in the face of senseless violence, points to Jesus. The greatest testimony we can have right now, in the midst of all our anxiety, confusion, and fear, is love.
Here is a blessing for us on this tragic day.
May we pray for Gods peace and comfort to be present with all the families directly affected by this tragedy.
May we find comfort in the reality that nothing, not even senseless violence, can separate us from the Love of God. (Romans 8:37-39)
May we seek every opportunity to love selflessly, as a testimony to being a disciple of Christ.