We woke up yesterday morning to news of another tragic mass shooting spree. We tried to wrap our minds around the incredible mayhem and death while listening to news commentators rattle off statistics and recount past occurrences and our capacity to comprehend maxed out. Our hearts hurt and our minds flooded with questions and fears and we wondered out loud, or maybe quietly to ourselves; “What in the world is going on?” We look around at the grief and pain and collectively, as a nation, feel the loss of not only innocent lives, but also our peace, as nowhere seems completely safe now and our HOPE, because we sometimes fail to see it in times like these.
What are we to do when HOPE is hard to find? Where do we turn? How do we handle the uncertainty?
Faith is a great place to start. There were thousands of Facebook messages and Twitter posts all proclaiming “Prayers for Las Vegas”, and that is a sweet sentiment, but just typing in the words for our social media feed is not the same thing as actually praying. So, let’s truly pray. For God’s peace and comfort. For wisdom to hold the right people accountable but not use the event to spread more discord and hate. For healing, both to bodies and minds; as so many individuals will be forever changed. We need to pray for the courage to never let the bad conquer the good. We are brighter than the darkness around us. We must show up every day and prove that love is stronger than hate. Faith will shine a spotlight on HOPE.
Believing is the next step. We must always believe in the power of HOPE; because it is the great equalizer in this tumultuous world we live in. Regardless of political affiliation, religious beliefs or financial status, we all have the same capacity to HOPE. Believe in the goodness of others. Read the stories in the coming days of the heroes, both men and women, who rose from the chaos and shielded some, brought aid to some, held the hands of strangers, worked together to find safety and provide help. My Hopefuls, it will not be politicians or legislation that will conquer the evil; it will be each of us. One by one, day by day, believing in the value of one another and understanding we are all in this together.
I know it is easy for me to write from the safety and comfort of my home and spill flowery words onto a page. But I do wish for you to know my heart and understand that I believe these flowery words. My plea to you is not to dwell in the fear and the anxiety. Unlock the flood gates of your heart and let your HOPE and LOVE pour out. Let it wash over those around you; family, friends and when necessary, even strangers. Be a calming influence and a righter of wrongs, determined to stand in the gap for those who need it. When someone has trouble finding HOPE, let them see it in YOU!
As my final thought, I want to remind each of you of things we hear all the time, but many never give it a thought until a day like today….. Live each day like it will be your last, because one day it will. Always say “I love you”. Always treasure the little things, because in the end, they are the big things. And last, but not least….Always..
HOPE WITH ABANDON