A terrible enemy threatens the very core of all we hold dear. The media, the politicians, sadly even many preachers proclaim the power and might of this ruthless adversary who strikes with reckless disregard for collateral casualties.
This enemy entices us to strike back in anger. The anger may be physical violence, or it may be a more insidious emotional form of violence like judging or dismissing an entire category of people based on skin color, birthplace, culture, or some other external factor.
So who is this enemy? What army can we deploy to defend ourselves? How high does the wall need to be?
This enemy has no army. No invaders will storm our shores or sneak through homeland security. The enemy’s already here.
It’s not terrorism, or terrorists. It’s not any group of people. And it’s not financial unrest or climate change, or war.
The enemy is fear.
People will tell you it’s something else. They’ll make all sorts of convoluted arguments about the enemy’s identity and why we have to fight back, but they’re skating around the edges.
The core issue is fear.
The enemy is fear and we lose whenever we believe the lie that we have to react.
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So how does this relate to riding bikes and supporting 22 kids at the HOME OF HOPE?
You and I can choose to live in fear. We can decide to become victims of our own anger and violence.
Or we can take Jesus seriously. “Love your neighbor. Forgive those who persecute you.”
And then we can get on with the important work that’s right in front of us.
Jesus says, “Take courage. I am. Don’t be afraid,” but we all feel afraid at times. He’s saying He’ll be with us when we’re afraid so we don’t have to let our fears control us.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
I’m not going to get close to perfect love. But I believe even a tiny bit of love begins the process and allows us to move forward toward doing what we can, where we are, with what we have.
“Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr