The answer is, I pray. I pray for the safety of my husband, son, grandson. great grandsons and nephews who have to face bitter hatred from people they do not know and who do not know them, but will shoot them, kill them because of their color. John 14:27 tells me, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Right now the world I live in is offering trouble and fear in big cups. Fear grips the heart of any parent with children who are targeted for no apparent reason other than the color of their skin. So how do I live and share peace? I continue to live and share Christ. I continue to believe God is bigger and greater than all the challenges we face today.
I pray for a transformation of the heart and mind of those who live to intimidate and shoot people of color for sport in 2020. Will my prayers eliminate the evil we face? It is possible, for what is impossible with man is possible with God. Prayer and the Word of God give me the peace I need to go about my daily activities. I cannot live with a spirit of bitterness, a chip on my shoulder or aggressive meanness toward people who do not look like me. I have to continue to genuinely love God's people.
My strength and comfort come from the Word of God in 2 Timothy 1:7, John 15: 5, Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Hebrews 13: 8 when fear overcomes me. I have to live by the Word, pray the Word and believe the Word so I can be that instrument of peace referenced in the prayer of St. Francis.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
The same GOD who spoke to the wind and the waves "peace, be still" can speak to COVID-19, racism and the economy. God is still in control. That gives me peace.
The Rev. Terryl James is pastor of Washington Hills United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
A bitter election. A deadly virus. Unrelenting racism. Economic, environmental, and social crises. Followers of the Prince of Peace, the world needs you. Your community needs your witness and calming presence. In these anxious days, The Call asked ...