Peaceful Protests and Love
I should preface this blog post with some background information. We do not watch the news at my house.
Some call that ducking reality. I call it filtering the world for my children in age-appropriate doses. We discuss what's going on, but we don't saturate ourselves in media play by plays.
We don't watch the news at home and have not for the last 4 years; however, I feel like there are (age appropriate) things to be learned from what is happening in Baltimore.
I just kept it VERY simple as this is the first time we've discussed this. As I described the difference in rioting (law breaking through various measures- sometimes with a cause to rationalize said behavior) and peaceful protesting (writing letters, standing in the gap- sometimes physically, speaking at meetings, doing interviews, etc. for the sake of a cause), he looked at me and said, "Peaceful protesting. That's what you do."
He was so matter of fact about it. Peaceful protesting to him is the same as the educational advocacy that he's seen me do for him and other children with unique learning needs. It's standing up and saying, "Not one more. There has to be a better way" or "This is no longer acceptable. Here's an idea."
He sees the peaceful protest as a sign of love. He paid little attention to the rioting, because it's clearly wrong; however, he was drawn to the love of a peaceful protest that stands for hope and a future. He was drawn to the love.
I am struck by the fact that there is another 12 year old somewhere in Baltimore looking for the same kind of love.
A child who longs for someone to stand in the gap without paralyzing them in fear.
My prayer is that those who are violently rioting will see those peaceful protesters who are already out there.... and that they'll feel LOVE so great that they drop the weapons handed to them.
My prayer is that leaders rise up from the ranks of peaceful protesters and they speak love so loudly that it overwhelms everything that is wrong, and leaves a desire for what is right.
My prayer is that the hurts of the past and today can bubble up in ways that bring attention to what is wrong without creating more wrongs.
My prayer is that love starts to prevail.
We've seen it. From ministers standing in the gap- literally blocking the hate- to a child passing out water- being a living, breathing vessel of love. The love is out there. Now let it RISE UP. Let LOVE be more contagious than the hurt. Let LOVE be more recognizable than the evil of our times.
It was once sung that "Love is gentle as a rose, and love can conquer any war.... we've got to let love rule."
It was once written that "the greatest of these is love."
Take your stand, but sing a song of love and re-write a history to match. Peacefully protest. Actively advocate. Put down the weapons of yesterday. Create a new tomorrow. Let the greatest of these rule.
Pray for those out there in the fight for love. Pray for those that need to receive it.
Either way, let them feel loved. Because LOVE never fails.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13