Angry About Charlottesville? Here’s What You Can Do

Confession: I skipped the gym this morning. Why? It’s a long story, but it boils down to I have a lot of work I need to finish and I’m taking tomorrow off to take my son to college. Sounds like an excuse, I know, but me not going to the gym is not the point.

As I mentioned, I wanted to start work early this morning. I sat down at my computer and started going through emails and tasks, tried editing blog posts and I just can’t concentrate. This whole business in Charlottesville has got my head spinning. I’m about to suggest something in this post that is going to be difficult, but stick with me. It will be worth it. What I’m not going to do is present a political position on the whole issue. That’s not what this post is about.

Earlier this morning, I posted a picture on social media. It was a quote from Mother Teresa, one of my favorites. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Mother Teresa

That got me thinking about what we as parents are called to do in this world. We have a huge responsibility, raising human beings and all. And I think that parent or not we can all agree that it is best to lead by example. Words don’t create change, action does.

So here we are with the situation in Charlottesville. People on both sides of the debate are pointing fingers, placing blame, declaring who is right and who is wrong when really none of that matters. We can do that all day long, it doesn’t solve the problem. So I’m thinking about what I can do in my little corner of the world to create the change our country so desperately needs. I look to the people that I consider mentors in my life, the biggest of which is Jesus. Yep, I did it…I asked myself the famous question “What would Jesus do?”. The answer came quickly because He already showed us through His example what He would do. He’s already been in this situation. He’s already dealt with hatred being spewed at him when He had done nothing wrong.

When Jesus was being crucified and the soldiers were casting lots for His garments, Jesus simply prayed, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. He didn’t protest, he didn’t place blame. He didn’t point fingers. He didn’t rant on social media…ok, so there was no social media but you get the point. He prayed for his accusers. He prayed for those who nailed Him to the cross. He showed us that anger and hatred do not win over anger and hatred. Only love and forgiveness and prayer has the power to do that. Imagine how hard it must have been for Jesus to get to that place where He chose prayer and forgiveness over lashing out in anger. I know He was the Son of God, but He was human too.

So, and this is the difficult part, as much as many of us despise the actions taken in Charlottesville, we are not called upon to point fingers and meet anger and hatred with more anger and hatred. We are called to have mercy, to have hope, to believe in the conversion of hearts through prayer. No amount of rioting or protesting or letter writing has the power to change any of this. But we do. Through God, all things are possible, even the conversion of the hearts of the most hate-filled people who walk the earth. This is bigger than us. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and join together in prayer for the conversion of hearts and for peace in our world. It starts with us. One small spark can ignite the fire of peace. Nothing is impossible if you only believe.

Now maybe I can get some work done.

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