Why is America becoming a killing field? Civil unrest is becoming civil war, only there’s nothing civil about it. The turmoil of the late 1960s has returned. It scared me then, even though I was only a teenager. It scares me more now.
I hate to turn on the news anymore because I’ll have to hear about the latest incident where someone thought it was a good idea to kill others. I cannot fathom what goes through a person’s mind when they set out to kill groups of people. Is hate so powerful that it twists brains so tightly that all good sense and logic are wrung out? Apparently. Hate eats people up, destroys any sense of empathy, and sets people on the path of destruction. The desire to destroy can happen anywhere and any time and woe to those who are nearby when the hater loses control.
Jesus told us to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matt. 5:44). That thought is like facing a spoon full of bitter medicine. Its taste is repugnant, but it will do us good if we take it. Praying for our enemies is really hard to do some days, but it’s time to follow the Master’s advice. Close your eyes, hold your nose, and say a prayer for those who hate. The minds twisted with hate need our prayers.
Also say a prayer for the victims of hate and their families. PTSD doesn’t just happen in a war zone. Haters inflict it on their victims wherever that may be.
How can we restore some sense of civility in our country? Start with your circle of influence. Doing random acts of kindness spreads love wherever you may be. If enough people pay it forward, kindness might have a chance of returning to our society. Be the spark that starts it where you live. Small changes repeated enough times becomes a big change.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, one of my most favorite Bible verses). I say that to myself often, using it as a mantra. Repeat that to yourself often, and let’s do what it says.