There's been SO much talk lately about some things happening around the world that are truly scary and unsettling. If we're not careful, we can find ourselves in the middle of a full-blown hate-fest. While I can't speak to the intentions of those people who opened fire on people in crowded public places, I suspect it was not the outcome I've noticed.
Some would say that their purpose was to promote fear. Lots of people are afraid, and living in fear. Luke 12:4 tells us to look at it differently.
"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one."
I can't live my life like that. Each moment is too precious. Besides, Luke 12:25 says
"Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Having survived my cardiac arrest, I am acutely aware of the FACT that this day could be my last, and that I need to hold Christ close. I should honor Him in all I do. When I fail, I need to admit it, and reconcile myself to Him quickly. I need to look at my life and decide if someone would have to ASK me if I'm a Christian, or if they would just KNOW.
There are two good things that have come from these terrible actions.
1. There have been hundreds of new Christian martyrs created. Because they would not deny Christ in this life, they can now be joined to Him in his death and resurrection. We Catholic types believe this to mean that they are now one with God through Christ, and can intercede on our behalf. Which brings us to number 2.
2. Many people are asking God to intercede. They're talking to God. They're thinking about God. They're considering God. I believe others are asking themselves the same questions I am pondering. Would I swear an oath to save my life? An oath I don't believe? Would I willingly walk over to the Christian side of the room knowing I would die a martyr's death? I hope I never find out, but I have great respect and admiration for those Syrian and Kenyan (and plenty of other) brothers and sisters in Christ who did just that.
I choose Christ. He chose me first. He loves me enough that He died for me, and I give my life to Him every day. Leaving this life would only be loss to those who would miss me. For me, it is gaining Heaven, and unity with my beloved Savior.
I choose Love over hate every single time.