“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” – 1 John 4:18
I am not afraid.
I will not let the media frenzy lure me into the cesspool of fear mongering.
Neither will I let my own fears rule my heart and mind in this tumultuous time.
I REFUSE TO BE AFRAID.
Instead, I choose to be bound by my faith to reach out and build bridges, not erect physical walls and emotional barriers against the Muslim, the Migrant, the Refugee, the Opposing Political Party, the Other.
As a Christian, I am called to love…even my enemies. Even the politicians who condone division and stir up strife, however difficult, I am called to pray for and to love them. For those with dramatically different views of the world as me, I must, as a Christian, pray for and love them, too. For those who carry out hate crimes or acts of terror…yes…I will lift even them up in prayer and love them. (Luke 6:27-28)
Today and every day, I will step further into my call as a Christian to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8). I will work even harder to forgive others (Colossians 3:13); I will recall that when I show kindness to “the least of these brothers and sisters,” I do so to Christ as well (Matthew 25:31-40). I will strive more and more to rejoice, pray, and be grateful in all times (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I will put bitterness, anger, and slander aside making “Kindness-Compassion-Forgiveness” my mantra as I make my way through each day, with each soul that comes my way. (Ephesians 4:32)
I will withhold from judgment and remember that it is not mine to carry out. I must consider my own actions or inactions instead (Matthew 7:1-5). I will trust that no matter how crazy the world appears, assurance rests in my trust in God (Psalm 27:1).
I am a Child of the Most High called to do my part to bring peace, kindness, and civility back into fashion; to show others the profound powers of love and forgiveness to mend the endless divides between individuals, groups, and nations, bringing much needed healing to our fragmented world.
I am a follower of Christ, a believer in the Way, and I am NOT afraid.
(I originally published this March 20. After the recent shooting in Orlando, I felt the need to revisit, revise, and publish it again…)