With the senseless, so-called “lone-wolf” attack on the gay night club in Orlando, and now the equally senseless, brutal murder in broad daylight of Labour MP Jo Cox yesterday, you could be forgiven for thinking that violence is taking over the world.
And you would be right.
Despite the daily headlines, love is fighting back. It is not lying down in despair or defeat. It is not silent. You just have to look a bit harder. Listen a bit longer…
All over the world, there are people who are laying down their own lives in various ways for countless others. Some do it literally, by risking their lives for the sake of others. Some spend their entire lives preferring others in the most mundane but so very meaningful ways. Think of the best parents you know. Think of your own parents. Others do it by helping an older person across a busy road. Still others see someone join them at the supermarket checkout with a tiny fraction of the groceries they have before them and ask that person if they would like to go ahead of them. I know people who spot whenever someone is struggling to find the money to pay for those same groceries and they step in and pay for it themselves, without hesitation.
I know others who know a friend who is struggling to pay their rent, to the degree that they are on the brink of eviction. And so they offer to pay their friend’s rent for six months – in one single payment. A gift or a loan without interest, or even an agreed payment term. I even know people who have been given houses, as well as those who have given houses to those in need, or simply because they had a thought that this was the right thing to do.
And none of these things is ever forgotten.
That is what I mean by violence taking over the world.
There will always be violence, just as there will always be poverty – all the while the world is governed by flawed individuals – some far worse than others.
The question for you and I is simply this:
How can you daily choose to violently oppose the things that we all know are evil by passionately (violently) demonstrating just a tiny bit of the things that are good?