Sometimes my world is sunny. Other times it’s quite rainy. This has been a rainy season. My heart has hurt.
I lived through the Rodney King riots in L.A. I was in high school and remember watching the TV and thinking the world was collapsing. It was so scary to watch. I attended a racially diverse school and we all got along; it didn’t make any sense how tensions could be so strong between complete strangers. Now, as an adult, I have watched with wiser eyes and I understand more. My heart hurts for friends who are hurting, for officers that are fearful, for people who desperately want change, and for a world that frankly NEEDS JESUS.
If I’ve learned one thing from the past few weeks, it’s that everyone has an opinion on how to fix the world’s problems. And another thing I’ve learned is that I can only fix myself. And it starts with the ripple effect. We all have a job as Christians to do one thing: Emulate Jesus. I am reminded of John 13:34-35. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We must wrap our identity in Christ.
I can’t do much about the riots. I can’t do many things about police brutality, nor the hatred towards the good officers that passionately serve and protect their communities. I can’t change bigots and I can’t smooth racial tensions in one blanket move.
But I can love. I can love the woman in the grocery store who is exasperated with her kids. I can tell her that I’ve been there. I can make more eye contact and smile at strangers. I can check myself in a situation and make sure I am doing what Jesus would do. I can tell people how much I love them and I can SHOW it in my actions.
We are called to love one another. That looks different in every situation. That’s okay. Does it get awkward? Maybe. Will you get rejected? Perhaps. Regardless, do what God calls you to do and you won’t go wrong.
Love is a ripple effect. Let’s start creating more ripples.