“As a New Zealand member of the Catch Community, here on the ground, there has been a profound sense of shock and disbelief as this tragedy has unfolded before our eyes.” Dave, a Catch MemberPartner from New Zealand has given us a “boots-on-the-ground” view of the recent tragic shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 50 dead and scores wounded. Most of the victims were immigrants from more violent countries who escaped to the relative safety of this normally quiet, peaceful island. Who would have ever thought this would happen here?
“And yet the actions of the gunman,” Dave writes, “have had the opposite effect to what he intended. There has been a universal outpouring of grief, compassion and caring towards our Muslim neighbors and fellow citizens. There have been untold examples of non-Muslims reaching out to Muslim members in our community and huge rallies of support and solidarity that have affirmed our diversity and unique common identity as Kiwis. It has been strangely wonderful and heartwarming to behold. It has been a taste of ‘grace in action.’ As a nation we have never been more united.”
And here is another positive expression coming out of this unspeakable tragedy: Christians are joining people of other faiths and traditions in the fight for a common humanity. People are retaliating with love and compassion. We are seeing a public square forming around people’s shock, anger and unanimity. It’s as if the worst in humanity is bringing out the best in humanity. And as Christians, it is good that we join in with this demonstration of affirmation wherever we see the opportunity.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s young prime minister, speaking to a high school that lost two students in the attack said, “Look after one another but also let New Zealand be a place where there is no tolerance for racism. That’s something we can all do.”
And finally, John, another one of our readers, concludes, “We either live united or die separately. Satan knows if he can divide us all we are easier to take down. But when compassion unites us, the power of hate is defeated.”
I think people in general, believers not exempt, become so overwhelmed with the enormity of these savage attacks, that we wind up like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car, helpless to get out of the way. We think, “How can I make any kind of difference; how can I change anything; I’m only one person?” So we say a prayer and send a check to someone who has boots on the ground in those places that seem so removed from us. But…those places of tragedy loom ever closer to our doorstep. So yes, write that check, but do not forget about the place(s) where our boots have already trod; where we walk everyday. Our homes. The street we live on. The places where we shop. Where we eat. Where we are entertained. Hey…how about our churches?!
Only love can conquer evil – only light can overcome darkness. We believers carry that love and light within us; they need to be on the frontlines where we live every day.
The Lord brought a song to my heart this morning… Two Hands by Lovesong. Such a simple song, but so much power in its truth. “Bring a friend,” three simple words, wrapped up in the call to bridge gaps and form honest relationships.
Scrooge was told, “Mankind is your business!”
“All that is necessary for evil to prevail, is that good men do nothing.” This is usually attributed to Churchill, but I think it predates him.
May God grant us all wisdom and courage. May we “be kind to one another.”
Amen sister: “May God grant us all wisdom and courage. May we “be kind to one another.”” That’s the answer, as love often always is!
Yes, Mark. And we never know when a simple reaching out to another human being, especially one who seems lonely and detached, might actually help prevent something like this. I’m forever haunted by the words of that guy who jumped off the GG Bridge in San Francisco — on of the few who lived to tell about it — who told himself before jumping that if someone smiled at him that morning on his way through the city to the bridge, he wouldn’t jump.
Love this: “John, another one of our readers, concludes, “We either live united or die separately. Satan knows if he can divide us all we are easier to take down. But when compassion unites us, the power of hate is defeated.”