Sunday, July 10, 2016

Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

Because of a Leadership Training in Richardson, TX on Saturday, I drove down a few days early to be with my kids in Frisco. Being in the Dallas area when the tragic shootings took place on Thursday night, hearing the heart-wrenching details of the police and civilians killed or injured, brought memories back to me when I was in my 10th grade Geometry Class at South Oak Cliff High School here in Dallas. Over the loud speaker came the inconceivable words of our Principal, "President Kennedy has been shot and killed". It seemed our world momentarily stood still. We were in shock. How could something so appalling take place in OUR city, Big "D"? Then a few years later, in 1968, the terrible atrocities of the civil rights riots made us feel that our country was falling apart. I remember Martin Luther King's words just before his assassination in 1968: "Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

The answer then and the answer for Thursday night and all other diabolical killings and injuries, is still the same, though it almost sounds lofty and unattainable: Love is the answer. In the photo here is a Dallas area man, Jimmy Lee Robinson, who gives his time to spreading good news in the form of homemade signs held up with positive and motivating words. In light of these last few days, when I saw him walking down Main Street, here in Frisco, I made a U-turn to get a photo of this day's message: "I love you". I hugged him. He's my brother. We're on the same team. We're in the same family of God. We all want and need love -- even those misguided, mentally bent individuals who take people's lives. If they had known love, perhaps their decisions would have been different.

Whatever message we should be conveying -- in good AND bad times -- boils down to one primary theme....LOVE. We are faced with a choice. We can let the horrible tragedies weigh on us until we are angry and in fear and we ask..."How can LOVE be the answer when there are those who are filled with so much hate, bitterness, sick minds and spirits?" It's the same answer when they killed and crucified our Savior...."Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do." That's love. Oh that we can give that love.

I said it last week and I say it again. "It's time for us to love and pray passionately." Yesterday, at the meeting I attended, the speaker prayed these words of St. Francis of Assisi. If we took these words, meditated on them and sincerely prayed them with all our hearts, just maybe we could be the catalyst for change:

"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. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. Amen.