Grace in the Ice Age
Matthew 24:12 And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,
It was a space in the atmosphere where the horizon froze and the line between sky, water, and land had disappeared. It was etched out by coldness and the inhabitants had lost their way. Their hearts had crystalized with hardness making it easy to shatter. We hear and see the acts of cold hearts in almost every sphere. The ruthlessness of politicians, corporations, and people would suggest that we are not in the dispensation of God’s Grace. We hold our hearts captive afraid to extend kindness to those we encounter.
I wrote this post last month before the Colorado killings. It was going to be collection of pieces on Grace. At the time the video of a Greek grandmother, Karen Klein who was working as a bus attendant went viral. As the world watched her be taunted, humiliated, and disrespected by children. Then the world responded by donating over 400 thousand dollars, which started as a campaign to send the grandmother on a much-needed vacation. Psychologist and sociologist are analyzing and discussing concern over how the youth could be so coldhearted. Then a more sinister and evil tragedy occurred, stunning the nation.
James Holmes was arrested on Friday outside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado after he had allegedly murdered 12 people at the premier of Dark Knight Rises. The nation was left speechless as the story aired on almost every primetime news station. We were also left a little more shattered. It would appear we are living in a cold–cold world but we are reminded of the words of King David:
Psalm 27:13 [What, would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
How do we live in a world where violence and cruelty seems to overshadow the good in the world? We are to show them love; easier said than done, right. There is a group of young people who live in my development. Residents are met with disrespectful remarks and rudeness. You don’t have to do or say anything to them just your mere presence can warrant a snide remark or nasty look. One day I pulled up into a parking spot and there they were some sitting in a park car and some standing outside of the car. I got out and needed to open the back passenger door to get my grocery bags. The door to the car they were sitting in was open and blocking me from opening my door. I waited for them to close the door and what seemed like a simple jester turned into a power struggle. They continued talking as if I was not standing there. I did not want to have to speak to them but I did. I ended up having a fifteen minute conversation with them. I told them they must be pretty bored to just sit in a car with the windows rolled up in the hot summer. Two of them opened up to me and told me they needed something to do. Then they politely closed the door to the car. After carrying my groceries into the house I took out the garbage to the dumpster. To my surprise a young man standing a little ways off offered to take my bags to the garbage for me. It was unexpected goodness and it gave me hope to believe that no matter how harsh the world may seem there is still goodness in the land of the living. That young man gave me hope through his act of kindness.
How do you find grace in places where it seems the only thing that exists is hate, violence, and treachery? You are grace and you cannot stay tucked away because the world needs to see and hear grace moving in and through it. As believers we have the power to change the atmosphere by bringing the peace and love of God with us. The more we extend love the more love we will see in the world. It is the small gestures of kindness and courtesy that matter, multiplied by every encounter we leave a seed that can be planted and spread from person to person.