Photo by ilya-yakover on Unsplash
Keeping up with current events can be frightening. There are new reports of violence, murder, abuse, and devastation each and every day. Sensational stories receive the most attention and to an alert and watching child, they may cause fear and anxiety in their young, impressionable mind.
I recognized this when my oldest had to prepare a current events project two years ago which she chose to do on ISIS. As we read a few articles together and discussed the information, she asked me, “Mom, are they coming here?” Will they come for us? ISIS, was after all, in the headlines for their latest string of beheadings of Christians, westerners, and non-converts.
And today, we hear new stories of mass shootings nearly every week… Lord give us strength…
photo: Jordan-whitt Unsplash
Recently, another heartbreaking event occurred. A church massacre left 26 dead and 20 more wounded. And now there has been another school shooting. And unfortunately, we can probably expect more.
We take to social media with comments like, “What do we tell our children? How do we keep them from thinking this is “normal” with new reports of violence, hatred, rioting, etc with each new week?”
Before we address this with our children, we must address this with ourselves. How are we interpreting what is happening all around us? As a Christian, I turn to the Bible to help adjust my view, my perspective on things happening in the world. If I only look from the ground level, I can be filled with fear and hopelessness. I look around and see senseless violence, hatred, and discord, and tremble in fear for my self and my family. But when I pull back to the bigger picture, with a different perspective I find understanding, power, and hope.
a glimpse of the multi-leveled city
Never before have I ever been so terrified for a complete stranger.
He was no ordinary stranger though, he was a child.
We were gathering at an outlook on Machu Picchu, situated atop a mountain at an altitude of almost 8,000 feet, looking out over a gorge hundreds if not a thousand feet below and there was NO GUARDRAIL!
Attribution: © Nevit Dilmen no alterations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License
It’s no surprise that our hearts are hurting. Current events in the world and recent social and political turmoil in America have left many feeling confused, angry, and brokenhearted. It seems everywhere we turn there is criticism, argument, and overwhelming fear or negativity. And it spreads like a virus, going straight to the heart, weakening who we are as individuals and as a nation. We need healing.
But with such pain and frustration, it seems easier to join your preferred bandwagon rather than be the lone voice of faith, hope, or love, especially when many are now hardened and cynical, doubting that ANY of those things even exist anymore.
But what if I told you it is much easier than you would think…to change the course of conversation and bring about health and healing?
Not my picture- this looks much better than how mine turned out!
Our family enjoys meal time. It is when we all can sit down, talk, and laugh. We laugh a lot because we have a son who innately understands that the most exhaustive efforts at comedy usually produce the most gratifying response.
But there are times when there is no laughter. Or conversation. Or enjoyment of any kind while we eat.
That is usually because something has sabotaged our dinner.
Sometimes it is a busy night with too many activities and responsibilities.
Sometimes it is conflict over siblings struggling to get along or hurt feelings when the teasing goes too far.
Sometimes it is disappointment from plans that just don’t go our way.
And sometimes it is Spaghetti Squash Alla Carbonara.
Few things get me roiled quite like a good ol’ church bashing blog post by someone claiming to be a former leader, teacher, elder, or God-forbid a pastor that has become disenchanted by their church for some reason or another. This type of blog rears its ugly head every few months with the ebb and flow of trendy blog post topics. I can almost count on it. After a few months of school rants, parenting/ discipline guilt trips, Franken-mom makeovers, 10 things I should never eat / say/ do/ think, and of course the all too common “What’s lurking in your body/ refrigerator/ medicine cabinet/ waiting to kill you,” I know it will soon be time for another church basher of a blog that goes viral, sending shock waves through the virtual blogosphere.
Welcome to “The Way To Wisdom Podcast” with Tracie Dawson. A podcast dedicated finding WISDOM in the Choices We Make and the Paths We Take!
Today’s Topic – Tongue and Speech
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My husband was being a jerk. In fact, I later found out that he was being unfaithful and everyone in our life group and church knew about it and sided with him, not ME, the innocent person in this entire scenario. Of course, when I WOKE UP and realized this was just a horrible dream, I was still mad at him. I nearly kicked him as he lay in bed sleeping just like EVERY OTHER TIME he had done something stupid in my dreams.
Instead, I went about my morning, fuming at him and wondering why he would have done something so horrible in my dreamworld which is so obviously contrary to his behavior in reality.
It reminds me of a story of another dreamer, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He had a deeply disturbing dream which shook him to his core. He called in every magician, enchanter, sorcerer, and astrologer in his entire kingdom to explain this dream to him. He told them they must first tell him the dream itself AND offer its interpretation or he would have them CUT TO PIECES and their homes destroyed. (Dan 2:5)
I could tell she was frantic as she came into the room scanning for a seat, but only one remained- right beside me and my baby. I smiled and invited her to join us, but immediately regretted it. She went into a barrage of questions and complaints... “The parking here is horrible! Why would they schedule middle school curriculum night for all three grades on the same night when there isn’t enough parking? I had to park down the road and walk up…. This school does a terrible job communicating with students’ parents- did you know about this meeting? And the traffic to get here was just ridiculous!’ After answering a few of her questions, she concluded with, “I hate it, hate it, hate it here!”
It was clear that nothing I could say would make a difference. It wouldn’t matter if I told her this is an amazing community to raise a family, or that the school system may be big and impersonal, but that my children have both had good experiences so far, or that she would eventually get her bearings and possibly grow to love this new area. She was so focused on her frustrations that everything was awful awful awful!
“For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 (NLT)