What can you do against such reckless hate?

Bless those who persecute you…weep with those who weep…Repay no one evil for evil; give careful thought to what is good in the sight of all people. Rom. 12:14, 15, 17

Lately I’ve felt so sad about tragedies, injustices, and acts of unspeakable violence in the news, on my Facebook page, and from personal friends and acquaintances. I think of the words of Theoden in Lord of the Rings, “What can you do against such reckless hate?” How can we respond in a way that is “good in the sight of all people?” when conflict and selfishness is at the root of so much evil? It has to take careful thought, and prayer, and seeking God’s Holy Spirit to find a response that is restorative for everyone involved, victims, perpetrators, and onlookers. I suspect that weeping is a cleansing agent to clear thought. But our culture seems to jump straight to anger, vengeance, and evil-for-evil responses that perpetrate more tragedies, injustices, and violence.

Dear Lord, make prayers for restoration out of the tears that fall down my cheeks. I don’t know what to pray for beaten babies, lost fathers, imprisoned children, violent mothers, Chicago, sex slaves, ISIS, angry politicians and their angry followers, poverty, disease, addiction, and everything else that needs restoring.