Personal struggles explode into public arenas. Those with shredded souls seek disconnection – wanting to destroy what they don’t understand. They claim their hate is an act of love. In the aftermath, not only is flesh bleeding out, but also the hearts of those who hate the hate.
Challenges are now part of every life as we claw at the chains to live beyond the prison of madness. In an attempt to throw off the albatross of hopelessness that has been tossed around our shoulders, we can actively take steps to find hope. It will require courage.
Courageous Step One: Have faith that we are the difference (not will be, not can be, are). We hold the key. Let’s examine our thoughts. What messages are we telling ourselves all day, every day? Put aside anger, jealousy, and revenge. As we change our thinking, we will evolve. Let’s answer the call to accept, tolerate, and love others.
Even as we continue to face lunacy, our standards of behavior must not waver. During World War II, resistance movements existed in every occupied country. The current war is not limited to countries. The other world wars were misnomers. We are in THE World War.
Courageous Step Two: Plan a course of action. Even though we are being forced to travel on a road paved with the souls of innocents, let’s work patiently toward positive change. We have choices of how to behave in every situation. The time to sit on the sidelines has passed. We can no longer wait for someone else to make sense of what is going on in the world. It is senseless.
Courageous Step Three: Find purpose in the small things. Everything we have experienced or are experiencing has life-giving potential. As we work through the pain, let’s look for the gift. How can our heartbreak work a greater good in us, in others? What can we learn? How can we show compassion? Some of our greatest moments are those when we touch the life of another. Replace selfishness with selflessness – one act at a time.
Courageous Step Four: Don’t condemn others. Mankind has always acted with inhumanity against humanity. Let’s not fall into the trap of hating in return. Attaching reason to a madman’s behavior is impossible. We cannot comprehend the motivation behind someone who is willing to shoot people at random, bomb an airport, or run over bicyclists. At the same time, letting our hearts be poisoned by their actions will kill us, also.
There have been too many atrocities. It would be easy to focus on the horrible actions of others. Nevertheless, we need to start with ourselves. Examine our lives. Do we condemn what we don’t understand?
Courageous Step Five: Believe in God. Let us take an honest look at how we have managed our lives. Have our choices served us well?
For me, my faith in God gives me the strength to hope and to act. It is hope which has kept me going through my darkest struggles.
As you may already know, for the last year, I have been looking at my life and how I treat people. I am convinced that it is possible not only to love my neighbors but to love my enemies, as well. What has happened and will continue to happen in the world is demanding that I move earnestly towards my destination.
However, I know one thing: The madman is mad. He gave himself over to evil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but . . . against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12, NIV.)
I have hope.