I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
~ Woody Allen
Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?
~ Luke 11:10-13
In the wake of the profound tragedy in Orlando, it is hard to consider laughter, it is not, however, hard to consider being direct with God. How to pray? Abolish guns? Abolish hate? Abolish…something?
There are just so many bandwagons to choose from, and many going nowhere at a heady rate. I am looking at the season of Lent and the glorious Easter morn, and thinking of all the Lents I spent as a child giving something up. Our pastor, and other like – minded clergy invited us to think of Lent in a different way some years ago. They entreated us to add something to our lives, rather than give something up.
While I fully appreciate that there are seasons for giving something up, fasting in prayer, denying oneself on many levels, I truly embrace the idea of adding. Adding prayer for a person, a situation, a hope, a concern would be one way. Adding additional acts of kindness might be another. Adding a prayer for the shooter and their family might be another. A commitment to Bible study, a community outreach that is multi faith might be others to consider.
Whatever is chosen, should be: God’s direction, and not so easy that you wouldn’t miss it as dearly as, for example, chocolate.
In this aftermath of tragedy, let us love, the way He loved, open up our sometimes tiny worlds to embrace the scared stranger, and thereby welcome the Lord in through you, a new door in a hard place.
With Every Act of Love
Because of Him,