(This article was first posted on the ONE Body Life webpage at onebody.life.)
How can we deal with the ever increasing number of evil acts of mass murder and terrorism in America? When horror becomes widespread, our natural tendency is to begin to ignore it, to harden our hearts, to retaliate with anger and violence, to become desensitized, to accept evil as normal.
But evil isn’t normal. Love is God’s norm. Wickedness is a horrible perversion of good, a demonic distorting of God’s desire that human hearts and human society be filled with goodness.
I wept while watching the news report of the terrible evil that was done against the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where one man surrendered his life to horrible wickedness and cruelly murdered 26 people worshiping in church, wounding many more.
I heard the pastor of that church, Frank Pomerory, who was away with his wife on a trip during the shooting, but whose 14 year-old daughter was one of the people murdered, say: “Whatever life brings to you, lean on the Lord rather than your own understanding, I don’t understand, but I know my God does.”
It’s important to soften our hearts, not harden them. The antidote to evil is soft hearts that are broken before God and that allow the risen Jesus to work in and through them. Evil is overcome when people allow Jesus’ work on the Cross to completely transform them and to flow through them to others.
Acting on the words that Pastor Pomeroy spoke can resensitize our hearts in the midst of unfathomable evil and open us up to God’s presence, love, goodness, healing, comfort, and forgiveness. Like Francis of Assissi said; “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”
“Lean on the Lord!” In pain and agony, don’t harden your heart and lash out at others with angry words or violence. Instead open your hurting heart to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ! In brokenness surrender to Him and He will lift you up and unite you heart-to-heart with His company of people who have lived through fire and been tempered and molded to be like Him.
That company of believers is the genuine body of Christ (from “every kindred and every tribe”). As they humbly (yet boldly) love and serve one another and all the people they meet, they can awaken all mankind to the goodness and glory of God that overcomes the rampant evil in society and even the hidden evil in our own hearts.