When I moved into the house I live in, it had a garden with no flowers. With the help from my mother and mother-in-law we made a perennial flower bed. Unfortunately, I was more busy taking care of house and children than gardening.
35 years ago, another garden was planted. It was built on a foundation of good vegetables and solid bushes, but there is a lot of weed. I could have removed the stinging nettles and thistles, but I the weed has grown bigger than my shoulders, and I let them sting my ears and forehead. Dandelion flowers are pretty, and my skin has almost got used to the stinging nettles. The weed tells me many stories. You can’t, you must not, you’re not good enough.
I hear the stories so often I begin to believe them. Lie becomes truth, and truth becomes lie. The stories hurt me, but I know them well, and I find it comfortable to get stung by thistles and nettles, and hide myself at feed of the weed, imaging I’m a tiny beetle crawling on the ground. The little beetle wants to dream and explore the world, but it is afraid. It’s afraid of getting outside the weed, because it fears to eaten by a bird of prey. Sometimes I want to kill the weed, but the roots have become giants, and my fingers are not strong enough to remove them.
But I know other stories.
First of all my deepest condolences with the LGBT-community and their families and friends. I’m sorry for your loss.
It is hard to read the news these days, but I can’t say I don’t want to read the news anymore, because I can’t ignore what is happening.
Many people are discussing who was the terrorist, and what were his motives? I don’t know the man. But clearly, he was crazy and evil. His actions were demonic. His evilness came from the devil.
How should we respond as Christians?
1. Seek God
We should seek Jesus with all our heart: Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares theLord (Jer 29:12-14). Jesus is our Lord and savior. We should pray, worship, read the Bible, and attend a Christ-centered church. We must seek Jesus. He will give us the armor of God (Eph 6:10-18)
2. Love our neighbor
Love our Muslim neighbor. We don’t like Islam and we disagree in many ways with the Muslims, but we should love them. We know that Muslims are different, and not all Muslims are terrorists.
Here comes a hard one. We should love the terrorists. We should love our enemy neighbor. We should ask Jesus to help us. Jesus can teach us. We hate the terrorist’s evil actions, but behind the evilness, there is a man, a human being created by God. There is hope. Paul was a prosecutor of Christians, but he met Jesus in a vision and repented and became a a follower of Jesus and an apostle. Scripture guides us how to love our enemies:
Close to me
like a breeze
He makes me alive
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
The nun is fired
The princess and the sex monster are forgotten
The broken glass is gone
The veil for my eyes is removed
I have a new mirror
I see Christ in the mirror
I see myself
I see Mariane, woman
God’s beloved child
precious in my Father’s eyes
free and righteous in Christ
reconciled to God in Christ
a new creation in Christ
I see Mariane in Christ
the glory of the Lord
(5 Cor 5:17-21 and 2 Cor 3:16-19)
The wind squeezes
through the clouds
pushes the thin branches
pulls the garden door
The sun is shining
on the glass
on every raindrop
Pearls of shadows on the windowsill
Sunshine in my living room
Drops of grace
on my fingertips