Lot's of sad things in the world right now. Yesterday a 13 year old kid shot himself dead in the school bathroom before classes began.When something like that happens we always picture our own kids in their shoes...picture ourselves in the shoes of their parents. I don't even know how to describe what would be in my head. A few months ago a guy robbed a pregnant woman and shot her in the belly, killing her baby...just because. Every week in Detroit a guy breaks into an elderly person's home and rapes her, robs her, and kills her...just because. Point being, you watch the news enough and you will learn to loathe the world we have to live in. You will become cold in your heart and forget about those that just want peace.
I have served as youth minister for 13 years. I've seen and heard a lot that I can never tell you. Things that make me sick. At this point and time, I cannot serve at the capacity I used to. So since yesterday and the suicide of that kid, I have been wondering what to do. What can I do? I have never been one to sit back and watch the world burn. I wanna get burned trying to save others. It occurred to me this morning that I am not doing much at all to help those in peril. I have been living my life and adjusting to a different career and craft. I sat down this evening with my wife and watched a doc about a guy who used Craigslist ads to keep him in shelter and food for a month. He didn't want to just mooch off others, so he spent most days volunteering to those that needed love. During the film, it occurred to me that this is the answer. Disconnect from the digital and reconnect to humanity. We are cold and self centered because we are conditioned to relate via internet or text. The issue is, you cannot look into the eyes of a person on the internet. You get what they choose to give you. Face to face, most cannot hide who they really are or what is really happening in them.
So here is my rough draft resolution. Take more time in every human interaction you experience in your day. Speak with the person serving your coffee, your lunch. Take every opportunity to get to know strangers everywhere. I am betting you will find that people share the very same feelings on many levels. I am betting that you will make a difference in more than one person's life. Say hi to the neighborhood kids. Give a 100% tip to your waitress. Adopt a child from Compassion International and actually write her. Start a relationship with a person whose life you are sustaining. Sit down next to a person who is sitting alone and open a conversation. Step out from where you are comfortable. Look people in the eyes and say things that matter. Learn to keep your mouth shut when it is foolishness coming out. Leave behind your negative attitude. Ask God to break your jaded heart. Give in to the thoughts of that kid that still lives in you. Would you as a 9 year old drop your last nickle in that filthy guy's hand...probably yes. If you are shoveling snow, shovel your neighbors as well. Buy the lunch of a random person sitting across the restaurant. Do all of these things in secret.
I think this is what the world needs now. Love. Love is still a verb, not a feeling. Love is something you practice. Do so intensely. I will too.
Thanks for reading...Z