This is a hard morning for me. I am not particularly happy, and that’s putting it lightly. It was going to be a great day, but my hair had a mind of its own and I ended up being 5 minutes late to work (that’s a no no for me). If that was the only source of my sadness, this would have been a great morning! Your guess is that good. It’s not. I got in my car and swiped right on my phone to look at the news briefs. Otto Warmbier died. He is the American kid who got sentenced in North Korea for taking a propaganda map (or something like that). He was my age-ish, infact I am older than him. What he did was a stupid, stupid thing to do, considering the climate of North Korea, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t deserve to die for it. Then, I got really angry, I hoped the president would make some decisions that I now consider very bad in hindsight. I also remembered, that this is not really the ideal president for this situation. He already has a lot going on at the moment. I got sad. I arrived work and read the full article (because you know using your phone and driving is not really a great idea).
I logged on to Facebook and saw a post about Philando Castile (the black man who was fatally shot in front of his loved ones by a police officer). Just the other day, his killer was acquitted on all charges; in this country that preaches freedom more than any other. A black man got killed, again, and his murderer walked. I got sadder. Then I read about a bullfighter who got killed by the bull, after which the bull was put down. A white boy, a black man and a Spaniard all died brutally and it hurt me the same. They were people like me, with hopes and dreams, prone to making bad decisions, ultimately wanting to do good in life, however we all define that. But these three brothers of mine didn’t make it into today and I felt that sting of hopelessness welling in my heart.
Then I saw a post encouraging adoption by someone on my timeline who thinks that if black people respect police officers they won’t get killed. She’s white and she supports adopting “kids from Africa” which in itself is not a bad thing, depending on who is doing it and why they are doing it. I hurt for my continent and the poor child who might one day find themselves in her uneducated arms; who she will teach the wrong things to and who, but for the grace of God, has no chance at balanced knowledge, thanks to her “kind act”. I hurt this morning, and I felt hopeless. I opened up the bible app to read but I paused before I started. Why do I want to read the bible now? Is it for me? or for them? or for religion?
I remembered how disappointed I am with Christians and how some of the people I’ve met with terrible ways of thinking, I met at a church. It made me sad because I know Jesus is not like that. I’m just tired: I guess because I thought serving God will be pretty straightforward. But, with each passing day I’m having more questions spring up in my head.
I remembered how I hear worship songs about God’s faithfulness and I sometimes struggle to believe them. Sometimes because I don’t see why God would want to be committed to wretches like us, sometimes because I feel angry that God knows how wretched we are and won’t just wave a magic wand and take all the pain and evil away.
Then I asked myself “is everyone hurting like I am this morning?” Probably not. I also wondered if I was being stupid by attempting to shoulder the burdens of the world and fix everything. I knew my intentions were good and I also knew I didn’t have the ability to reach out to the ends of the earth, heal every hurt and blot out every evil. I remembered that I know someone who can though. He is Jesus, whom I believe in and place all my hope in. The only reason I was able to lift my head up again after such an overwhelming amount of hopelessness is that I know I can’t fix everything but I know someone who can.
Then I asked myself again “what can I do?”. I believe it was the Holy Spirit who whispered “you can pray about it”. While the dark clouds are rising and the storms are raging, while hope is dying and the church is failing, I can look unto the hills where my help comes from. I can talk to God about the world He has put me in and the church, which I am a part of. I can say “your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. I can pick up my trash and not litter my environment, I can smile at the white, black, Indian, Hispanic people around me. I can fight hard to not judge a book by its cover and believe there are very sweet white people who aren’t racist, and there are black people who aren’t bitter. I can hope to speak up and encourage Africans to adopt Africans so that our kids stay with us and shine and the world knows that African parents are some of the best on the planet. I can keep my head up and depend on God’s grace so I won’t be filled with all the hate I could potentially be filled with. I could, against all odds, believe that the world can still get better.
I have been called unrealistic and naive when I was younger for believing that everything can be alright here on earth, before we get to heaven… and for a minute there I believed it. Yes, I am unrealistic and maybe naive but I have as father, the creator of heaven and earth. I have hope. You should too.