Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A NEW SOLIDARITY by Eleanor Shepherd

We are seeing evidence these days of the words of the old hymn God Moves in a Mysterious Way, His wonders to perform. The theme of the hymn is that God can transform those things in life that seem to bring forth destruction to bring about His purposes overflowing with grace and life.
A world leader makes a declaration that people from particular countries will not be welcomed in his country, mainly because of convictions based on their religion. An extremist, who seems to take this kind of logic beyond reason, goes on a shooting rampage to destroy these people.  However, the reaction from ordinary people who hear this news reveals that things are not as they appear.  
Specifically, Donald Trump signs an order in Washington D. C. that authorities are to halt people from certain countries who arrive at the borders of the USA and order them to return to their country of origin.  A misguided university student in Quebec City grabs a firearm and enters a mosque shooting and killing those who are concluding their time of prayer
What is the result? In Quebec City and hundreds of communities across Canada and around theworld ordinary people gather and light candles and offer prayers for the families who have lost their loved ones.  They meet together, many in the bitter cold winter weather, to show their support and offer comfort for those who have suffered.  Those of different faiths meet together for vigils to acknowledge and show solidarity with those who have been the victims of this violence. Why?

There is something deeper than hatred and fearmongering in the human spirit.  As the sage said in the Old Testament Scriptures, God has placed eternity in the heart of people.  The Spirit of God works in us and among us, and He fans into flame our recognition that we are all made in the image of God, whatever our religious convictions.  When He made us in His image, the trace of His presence that Heetched indelibly on our hearts is love.  
God is love and love is the most powerful and transforming force in the universe.  It is love that enables us to find our way back from horrible disasters and unspeakable deeds of horror and offer hope to one another to show we care. It is the love and grace of God moving in our lives that keeps us from completely obliterating others and ourselves at the same time.  It is what keeps tyrants from gaining control of our spirits.  They may rule and rant and impose their orders on our lives. They may destroy those we love, but they can never extinguish the flame of love and their efforts will cause it to break out in new ways.  
We have seen it happen in natural disasters, when earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, and floods wreak havoc, the response is an outpouring of kindness and generosity for the victims by those who were fortunate enough to escape these disasters.  We see it also in the response to the destruction of human life by those driven by evil emotions.  We express our solidarity with them by our compassion – an indication of the invisible presence of a God of love who moves among us mysteriously transforming evil into good by the power of love.  

Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award


Peter Black said...

Thank you for speaking to this current situation arising from recent events, Eleanor. Your geographic proximity and spiritual vitality, I'm sure, provide you a vantage point for appreciating the power and grace of love that overcomes evil with goodness - even in the wake of such a terrible, hateful act. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

"​There is something deeper than hatred and fearmongering in the human spirit."

Love this.

Thanks, Eleanor for striking that match and lighting the candle of love. And reminding us of the power of Christ's love. Well done.

Popular Posts