Last weekend's fundraiser was a huge success, for which I am grateful.
The performers gave it their all, and the show was top-notch. Our sponsors came through, and the fruit provided by our local Co-op received many comments as the best fruit people had ever tasted. (I was not fortunate enough to get any.) We were seated at around 60% capacity, and in all, raised a significant sum to help the children at Faith Children Home, for which I am excited, and grateful. Exceedingly grateful.
The week before, the east coast of India was devastated by a horrific cyclone that killed some, and left thousands of families without a place to live, or even clean water to drink. Thankfully, the children at the orphanage are fine, but many in their area are not. I am thankful for God's protection of those under Heart4Children's care.
And this week, a Canadian-born man, disgruntled at the delay caused by an extended investigation into his request for a passport (so he could allegedly travel to Syria), attacked our Parliament and killed one of our country's peacekeepers, who was on duty at our national war memorial. RIP Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
Every time I look at that photo and think of what happened, I start to weep at the senselessness of it all.
Last week, the Faith Children Home team and I gave our all (including family time, sleep and our tip-top health in a couple of cases--excuse me while I go blow my nose) to help. To build. To love.
Why do people do such senseless, destructive things? Shouldn't we be helping each other? The forces of nature are destructive enough on their own.
At first, when it was thought that the shooter (whom I refuse to name) was acting out of militant religious motivation, and was executing some kind of indie terrorist attack for ISIS (which still may have played a role), I tried to make sense of it based on religious underpinnings.
Muslims believe: Everyone who does not know God deserves to die. His devout followers must enforce this option. (Yes, there are sects of Islam that do not believe this--but they ignore the parts of their holy teachings that command it.)
Hindus believe: To know God, you have to become God by dying, over and over and over again. Your life is the result of the karma in your previous life, and you are receiving what you deserve. This often results in a "not my responsibility" attitude among castes and people that have the means to help those that need it.
Christians believe: God loves us so much, and wants us to know him so much, that HE died to make it possible. His followers are to go out and spread the good news of this love to the whole world.
The first commands hate, the second breeds apathy, and the third commands love.
It is easy to blame God for the cyclone. After all, who else controls the weather but him?
One could even blame God for the random act of violence. He made people in the first place. If he is all-powerful, why doesn't he just stop people from doing these horrific things?
But then the still, small voice reminds me that God has laws, too. One of which is that actions have consequences, and "we reap what we sow." We live in a fallen world (because of one, history-altering choice), and just like you can't make the other kids on the playground play nice with your own children, every person has the right to choose the way of love or the way of hate.
After all, it really is all about love. Acts of hatred create vacuums where acts of love are needed.
God is a god of Love, he IS love, and every time we act in love, we are choosing his way. Every time we act in hate, we are rejecting him. Each of those actions will reap rewards.
When another's child strikes mine at the swing set, the way of love would be to gently correct them (if their parent hasn't already done so) and to strike up a conversation with their mother to let her know that it's okay. Kids are a work in progress, and I don't hold her responsible for her child's actions. (Next time, it might be my kid doing the hitting, after all.) It doesn't always work out that way, but choosing love requires putting our own hurts and anger aside and reaching out to help others.
The way of hate would be to throw a fit, create a scene, and storm off with my child in tow shouting threats to sue. In other words, to do the adult version of the very thing that upset me so much in the toddler that offended me. Because at that point, it would be all about me.
Every day, in every interaction, we are given the opportunity to love another. And whether the things we are dealing with are big or small, acts of God or petty acts of violence, they all present opportunities to love.
Sometimes, the amount of love needed is too great for one person to provide. This is what I am struggling with, personally.
I have chosen to love the kids at Faith Children Home. At the moment, I feel stretched to capacity with the amount of time and resources I have to give, so I look at the immensity of the vacuum created by a cyclone and wonder what I can do? I am trying to find out if there are relief organizations at work in the area. Do you have any ideas?
When you are faced with hurt, pain, and anger, natural disasters, raging epidemics, poverty, hatred, and all the other symptoms of our fallen world, what do you do? Do you do nothing?
I choose to do something.
I choose to love.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.