“Turn on the T.V. for the evening news / They got plenty of fear and nothing to do / Another somebody’s gone too far / Makes you want to put up your guard / Fear is easy, love is hard”.
These song lyrics by Christian singer/songwriter Jason Gray came over my car stereo this evening as I was in the middle of a two-hour drive on a business trip. The sadness in them could not have been more appropriate or timely. Like most every other American on this fifteenth day of April, 2013 my mind was on the senseless terroristic acts of violence that unfolded today in Boston, Massachusetts during the Boston Marathon. I intentionally chose not to listen to any more news reports – I had heard enough and nothing they said could change what had happened. My thoughts vacillated between anger at whoever was responsible for the death and destruction, and heartfelt sympathy for all the human beings who were tragically affected. It was painful to think in the present.
It was no less painful when flashback images and emotions from September 11th, 2001 coursed through my heart and mind’s eye. But, one of the advantages of my age is in understanding that history tends to repeat itself and, thus, if you pay attention and learn as you go, you are better prepared for when evil will again, inevitably, raise its ugly head. I no longer believe in coincidence, so when the next song on the CD, Nothing is Wasted, came up I smiled for the first time in a couple hours:
“The hurt that broke your heart / And left you trembling in the dark / Feeling lost and alone / Will tell you hope’s a lie / But what if every tear you cry / Will seed the ground where joy will grow / And Nothing is Wasted / It’s from the deepest wounds / That beauty finds a place to bloom / And you will see before the end / That every broken piece is / Gathered in the heart of Jesus / And what’s lost will be found again / And Nothing is Wasted….”
There’s no doubt we Americans have been down this road before. To forget or not use what we learned almost twelve years ago would indeed be a waste. So, my thoughts turned to the future and I wondered, “What are we going to do about this?” I’ve learned there are many things about which I can do absolutely nothing. How to tackle the issue of terrorism is one of those things. Our government is supposed to do that for us. A terrorist’s most lethal weapon is their hatred for what is good and just, and the primary goal of terrorism is to spread fear and that same hatred. Their bombs are simply a means to that end. Let the government figure out how to stop them from using their physical weapons.
But, as citizens, and Christians, we have learned we can do something. We have to take the hard road, the difficult task of ensuring our spirit is not broken. We have to stand up to the cowardice of terrorism with the courage to continue what is right and just in accordance with our faith. We can be there for each other. We can love each other. We can support and encourage each other. We can pray for those who have suffered and who are suffering. (Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds”) We can pray for those who are fearful and help them overcome their fear by finding love in the only one Who has enough love for all of us (Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who grasps your right hand; It is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you’”). And, by doing so, we can send a clear message that, even though we may have been set back a step or two, we won’t be knocked out by the one-two punch of fear and hatred. We’re not going to take the low, easy road, we’re going to take the hard, high road. We did it almost twelve years ago and we can do it again. And, finally, we can do what is feared most by our enemy, “Pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28).
“When fear is easy and love is hard / It’s hard to bring your heart to a world that can break it / To offer love to those you’re afraid will forsake it / But a well defended heart is always looking for a fight / In a lonely war against an endless night / But love can bring a light / …It comes down to a simple choice / Shouting devils or a still small voice / One is spreading fear and dread / Oh, but love has always said / Do not be afraid / Fear is easy and love is hard.”
Thank you, Jason Gray, for your beautiful insight! I hope you don’t mind me borrowing some of it.
Peace be with you all, and with your spirit.
1. Fear is Easy, Love is Hard, Jason Gray (A Way to See in the Dark), © 2011 Centricity Music Publishing (ASCAP) / Nothing is Wasted Music (ASCAP) / The Gullahorns Music (ASCAP)
2. Nothing is Wasted, Jason Gray (A Way to See in the Dark), © 2011 Centricity Music Publishing (ASCAP) / Nothing is Wasted Music (ASCAP)