By: Kajsa Teitelbaum
I tend to think of myself as a rather positive person, with a bright outlook on life and the future; however, lately, I have been struggling with keeping that attitude. There is simply too much conflict, evil, and violence happening around us. As a mother of two young girls, I struggle with how to react, and what decisions to make in order to ensure that they will be protected from what I see happening all around us.
Today, we are constantly showered with negative news, both nationally and internationally. There are armed conflicts, global warming, people starving, natural disasters, corrupt politicians, and people fleeing their homes, just to mention a few issues. When hearing about all these things, I feel overwhelmed and experience a strong sense of hopelessness. Where do I begin? What is most urgent? And then I wonder, what would Jesus have done?
Well, I do know for sure that Jesus would not simply accept things as they are. He was the first to protest whenever he saw something that he felt was unjust. He did not hesitate to lead by positive example. Think about the merchants thrown out from the temple, or the woman about to be stoned for her mistakes. Jesus reacted to what he considered injustice around him. What I believe is important to remember is that he acted out of love and compassion for the people around him, and we need to do the same. Acting out of anger will only nurture more anger and run the risk of escalating conflicts.
Jesus lived by example, showing us how to approach everyone in a loving and caring way. Yet he was not afraid to raise his voice and put down his foot when needed. We have not been doing a good job following his example. We need to look no further than our southern border. Where is our compassion and love for our neighbor? We may not be able to create world peace over night, but surely, we have the means as a country to treat people with respect, and not tear children and parents apart when they come asking for help.
I realize the challenges are many, but if we all engage in something small around us, we will make a difference. Many small streams eventually create a mighty river.
Dear Jesus, you commended us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Please give us the courage to speak up when we encounter injustice, and to act with compassion and love towards the people around us. Amen