With the news of what happened yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I'm left again thinking of families whose lives will be forever altered. I know that there will be analysis of what caused the young man to take the lives of 17 people and that there will be many days to question what is going on in our country and to debate gun control and have discussions on what may have been overlooked or prevented. There will tears, pain, grief, finger-pointing, disagreement...
And in the midst of this and the temptation to make sure my opinion is known, I ask, "What is my responsibility?"
"Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said, "for they will be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)
I used to think of peacemakers as those who brought peace between two opposing groups, and that is one definition, but what can I do to bring peace to the lives of those around me, the individuals dealing with our crazy, messed up world?
How can I be a source of calm in a raging river of emotions? How can I bring love to battered hearts? There is so much in our wide world.
There's a famous story told of a man who found a little boy tossing back starfish that had been washed up onto the seashore. The man told the child,
"There are so many of them! You'll never make a difference!" The child responded, as he threw back another one,
"I did to that one."
How can we "make" peace for other people? How can I say to them, "Take courage" through my own kindness? How can you? What individual life can you speak into today?