Sitting under the shade of giant acacia trees, I listened to the hearts of hurting people.
It was April, 2015, and about a week had passed since terrorists had attacked a university in Garissa, Kenya. People were grieving. They were afraid. Driving down the highway in Nairobi, we could see large, white tents set up for the families of those who had come to the city to claim their loved ones.
The latest attack came after months of unrest and violence on the coast, as well as the attack at Westgate, a shopping mall I’d visited many times.
Sunday, we were worshipping with a small handful of believers outside a friend’s home when a young man said something that’s been on my mind and heart all week.
He asked us to pray that he would not have hate in his heart.
He asked us to pray that he would be able to forgive.
He asked us to pray that Kenyan believers would be able to love their enemies.
His words were honest; his struggle was real.
And we share it.
Take one look at your Facebook feed and you’ll find words fueled by fear.
I’ve been working this week on finalizing an e-book full of Christmas devotions for the month of December so I was particularly struck by the irony of seeing posts saying “no room” on the feeds of people who follow the one was born in a stable.
Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I agree that our government needs to use wisdom in the way it deals with refugees, but Christians, we need to use grace.
Do we not know that God works for our good in ALL things? Do we not know that what seems only like an insurmountable obstacle is nothing other than an opportunity for an omnipotent God?
The love we show to those in need might be what points them to the light.
Even if it’s not, how can Christians turn so clearly from the words of Christ?
He said, “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
So, today, let’s pray for those we fear. Let’s pray for each other, too.
We need faith, not fear.
We need to love, not lash out.
We need Jesus, and so do they.
Because He’s the only hope we have. He’s the only way we can overcome fear and go forward in faith. He’s the only way we can give grace and the only way we’ll get it. He’s the Savior and the solution.
Can we trust him enough to obey him?
Can we love him enough to be like him?
*I welcome your comments, but please keep in mind that I’m not suggesting a policy for our government. I am simply remembering and sharing the example of a young man brave enough to try to follow the example of the Lord, knowing it’s not an easy thing to do.