We need optimism, but not just optimism in feeling. We need optimism in action.
In recent years, America’s timeline has woven back and forth between shootings and protests. Closeup, it just looks like a series of unfortunate events… until you take a step back and you see they’re all connected in a fabric of willful ignorance and denial, cloaking the enduring danger and evil of systemic racism and white supremacy. Are we responsible for racism, and what’s our role in all of it?
That may sound like a harsh or exaggerated statement, but it really isn’t. Christians don’t just ignore environmental action, they put effort into vehemently opposing it.
“Christians” is a broad generalization here. I’m referring more specifically to American, conservative, Republican Evangelical Christians. But they do have a loud voice in both American and global faith and often shape what “mainstream” Christianity is.
The Sanchez family is from a Central American country that’s overrun by drug cartels. A drug gang had taken over the village where the Sanchez family lived. Rafael, the husband and father of the family, refused to work for the gang. He received threats and was beaten. He feared his family might be tortured or killed.
So he made the decision to take his eldest son Alberto and make the dangerous journey to the US.
Normal life. Mass shooting. Thoughts and prayers. America’s gun problem. Second amendment rights. Facebook and Twitter fights. Divided nation. Inactive government. Normal life.
It’s routine, cyclical, and sickening.
The first major mass shooting (in my lifetime that I can remember) was Columbine. It was horrific to think it happened at a school. That so many kids died. That the shooters themselves were just kids. That they had access to so many guns.
But now we have a couple of these every year. It’s almost seasonal.
In the 2 decades or so of common tragedies, we haven’t found a solution, we haven’t worked together, and we haven’t even had decent dialogue.
Throughout the year, you may get a few requests from charities to donate. A few times during the year is ok. But then come the holidays. Especially that Giving Tuesday.
You get bombarded with emails and Facebook ads asking you to donate. And I get it – money is tight, especially during the holidays. Plus you already gave to that one disaster a while back, and whatever happened to that money?
But still, you should donate. It’s essential for the world, and it’s good for your soul.
In another one of the seemingly never-ending issues that divide our country, we’re fighting over whether people should stand or kneel during a song before we watch them throw balls around.
If it sounds like I’m making this sound like a petty thing, that’s because it is. In light of multiple natural disasters, horrific genocide, and the looming threat of nuclear war, this is one of the dumbest things to be angry about.
But for some reason we are, so let’s dive into this.
As I expect my first child, there’s this enormous weight of responsibility, of caring for another human being that’s completely dependent on you. But beyond the thought of just trying to keep this child alive, there’s another immense responsibility I feel.
It’s shaping the kind of man that my son will grow up into. I want to be intentional about the man he becomes. So as I prepare to be a father to my son, Emerson, I’ve decided to focus on 3 things that I hope to instill into his character.