There was a time where I thought often deeply on many topics, and considered deeply situations and circumstances. Yet now I find that these things seem to come less and less often. Some people would conclude that they were growing up, moving on, or perhaps growing out of such things. But as I look around me and see the nature of the world that I live in and how people interact with it, it becomes more clear that most people become absorbed into fantasies, and neglect the world around them.
Take, for example, the phenomenon of TV. Most people (at least in America) subscribe to some kind of cable or satellite service. Watching TV is a part of their daily routine. It’s normal, it’s accepted, and it’s even encouraged by society. People get together regularly to discuss the latest happenings of one particular show or another, and talk at length about people and events that aren’t real. What kind of affect does this have on us?
This morning in church, our priest was talking about real situations in the world. Namely, he talked about Syria, and the bishops who have been kidnapped, as well as the conflicts that are ongoing in that section of the world. Then he talked about the situation in our own country, and how we are moving closer and closer to a government that is allowed to silence Christians for voicing their beliefs, or throw them in jail for holding to their morality in face of the whims of society. There are so many situations and occurrences that are beyond our control, and it makes me wonder: what can I really do? What impact can I really have?
Perhaps that is the thought of most people in America. Perhaps they think about the things they see, and the news they hear, and while they don’t like it, they feel powerless to make a difference. So instead, they turn to entertainment. I know how easy it is to do that, because I have done it myself, on many occasions, and even as a regular habit.
The truth is that as a Christian, a sense of powerlessness is nothing more than deceit by the enemy. God has designed us to be the light unto the world; a beacon, an example, and a source of truth and clear vision. The key is our interaction with people. People, individuals, are the most important thing in the world, because we are made in the image of God. Acting as an example of Christ and loving those around us is where we make the most difference, and the most impact.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Within the past few weeks, I have been to two funerals. I have talked before about how death is like a hurricane. In the peaceful center is the one who has passed. Those closest to that person feel the most turbulence and pain, because their lives have experienced the most lost. The further out from the center of the storm you are, the less of an impact it has on you. And yet the death of a loved one speaks to a truth that cannot (yet) be proven by science: there are bonds between people that tie them together at a level beyond the physical. How else do you explain the pain of a loved one who is no longer part of this world? How else can you reconcile the extent that so many people feel an impact now that the person is gone?
Though it has been over 7 years since my dad has passed away, there are still times where the loss feels as fresh as if it happened last week. That’s because there was a connection between he and I, a unique connection between us that is completely different than what anyone else had with him, and different than what I have with anyone else. The same can be said for every bond between two people. It is even more unique than a fingerprint, because while every person has unique fingerprints, they touch those around them in different and unique ways.
So, what’s the real point? The real point is that every time you interact with someone else, it matters. It makes a difference. It could be a small difference, or it could be life-changing. With that in mind, view those around you the same way that God views them: as someone unique, and yet beautiful and important. And most important of all, someone in need of love. It is only Love that can cure brokenness. Love is the Light of the world.