This week has been a difficult one! I woke up Monday morning, Belgian time, and got my kids up. We started our normal morning routine and then I open the news feed on my phone, what would become the worst mass shooting in modern America, had taken place only minutes before getting my kids up and ready for school. My first thought….
“What has this world come to?!”
It didn’t take long for the fear and anxiety to set in though. Even being halfway around the world, the fear takes hold. I have two young daughters and this is not the world I want them growing up in. I don’t want them to think that mass shootings are normal. I also do not want them to live in fear. I want them to be carefree and happy children that grow into strong independent women. I want them to know that mommy and daddy will always do everything they can to protect them. What worries me though is exactly how do I protect them from such evil? I take comfort in these verses:
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:4-8)
The events that took place in Las Vegas were HORRIFIC and lives were lost while many others are still fighting for their lives. A lot of people will suffer from PTSD because of this experience and hundreds will be dealing with months, maybe years, of rehabilitation. Now is not the time to turn this tragedy into a political standing. Now is not the time to start with conspiracy theories.
Now is the time to come together as a country and show love, compassion kindness and support to the victims, their friends as well as their family! This isn’t about republican or democrat, white or black, man or woman…it’s about being an AMERICAN!
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I wholeheartedly believe that we as a country have lost sight of loving one another. I believe it’s time to let God back into our country and schools. Get back to teaching that you treat others the way that you want to be treated. Teach people that the consequences of your actions are to be considered BEFORE you act.
I can make sure my children grow up and know God. I can make sure they know to treat others with respect and dignity regardless of their religion, political views, skin color or any other differences. I can teach my children to stop and THINK before doing anything and consider what the consequences of their actions will be. That’s not enough though. I have to SHOW my children through my actions as well. You can’t just teach it…you have to do it as well. Can you do that for your children? Can you TEACH and SHOW them that love and kindness can go so much further than hate?
In this age of social media, the hatred is spread like wildfires. It’s time to change that. Let’s commit to spread LOVE instead. Show kindness where ever and whenever you have the opportunity. I know in my heart that there are more good people in this world than evil so let’s use that good to drive out the hate.
I know that I have to “practice what I preach” and I am doing just that. I have found a local charity here in town (yes, in Belgium) and I have committed to volunteer with them and to help them raise funds through November. I will be asking and encouraging my friends here locally to help out as well. It can’t stop there though. Instead of commenting and reacting to posts on social media that don’t share my views, I will simply pass them by. My posts will be kind, hopeful and positive. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t negative situations and impacts but simply I vow to find the positive in situations.
I know that some situations, like the tragedy in Las Vegas, aren’t positive but out of that tragedy came MANY heroes who saved the lives of so many others at the risk of their own. I choose to focus on that love and kindness. I choose to believe that there is good in the world and I choose to BE THE GOOD in the world. Now it’s time for you to make a choice as well.
Do you choose to feed into the hatred? Or do you choose to drive out the hate with LOVE and KINDNESS? As for me and my family…we choose LOVE & KINDNESS.
You are in my thoughts and prayers Las Vegas! And to all the friends and families of the victims, my heart hurts for you. I know that nothing I say can make anything better but I do know that our God is bigger than anyone and anything. I pray that he wraps you all in his arms of comfort and finds a way to ease your pain. Know that one day you will see your loved ones again and it will be in a place where hatred and evil do not exist. Until then, know that you all are forever in my thoughts and prayers and that your loved ones are with God and watching over you. GOD BLESS YOU ALL! <3