I can’t stress enough the importance of standing against injustice in these darkly twisted days. But what does a Christian Response to tragedy look like in a practical sense?
Our Beliefs Inform Our Actions
I’m a Christian Feminist, which means I believe in the equality of men and women in loving and serving God and people. I use the word Feminist unapologetically because I believe it is important to acknowledge the plight of women specifically in the church. After all, ain’t I a woman? But I also believe that Feminism should take an intersectional approach to problem solving.
We accomplish this by acknowledging the connectedness of issues affecting all people. If you are going to call yourself a Christian, you’ve already signed up for this. We are called to care for all people, and specifically those that are forgotten and marginalized by the world. Silence is as good as Violence. We must rise for those who fall. Click To Tweet
A Christian’s Call
I believe the darkest moments are the perfect times to ask the hardest questions. So many are hurting and unsure of how to channel their grief, anger, and confusion and we need to step up and meet those needs. But if we do nothing (or even less) than everyone else out there is doing, we cheapen God’s redemptive power and his design for peace on Earth.
I can’t hope to address the entire scope of what a “Christian Response” to tragic loss looks like, but maybe I can help to open the dialogue for what it could look like in your life.
The Promise We Must Keep
God has placed this promise and the urgency to keep it on my heart more and more with each passing day. I don’t always know the perfect way. But I know that I grow closer to finding it every time I choose to question the narrative, listen to the victims, and stand against injustice.
If you are a Christian, then certainly you are already a child of God. Take comfort in this, but do not allow your security to make you stagnate. Jesus issues this promise to his followers, but it is our responsibility to uphold our half. We will be known as children of God, when we are first known as makers of peace.
Applying Matthew 5:9 To Our Tragedy
If we are to be “known by our love” then we must love in such a way that we become known to those who need our love the most. We can’t hide behind convenience, or screens, or privilege, or anger. We must act. We must walk through whatever fires of injustice are burning in our time and in our towns. We must touch the faces of the targeted. We must look them in their smoke-filled eyes. We must go to them and love them at their ground zero, because that is the model we have been given and profess to imitate. Our God touched lepers; we have to touch more than the like button. Our God fed 1,000’s; we must cease to feed on the power of being right, or safe, or privileged.
We are all guilty of passive endorsement of evil in our lives. Think about what that means for you specifically, but we are. Whether it be our own sins or the sins of the world, we allow it to take rein when we do nothing. We have to ACTIVELY fight against apathy if we hope to see any sort of change. This promise isn’t something God is just going to do with no input from us. Blessed are the peaceMAKERS. Those who MAKE peace. Not the peace-sharers, peace-wishers, peace-prayers, or peace-thinkers. God says that his children will be called MAKERS OF PEACE. So are you? How can you make peace in your sphere of influence?
No, our faith is not justified by works. But to assume that peace will just happen while we crouch behind our idle thoughts and prayers is arrogant at best and sinful at worst.
What Do I Do?
What does being a peacemaker look like? Maybe it’s sharing a post, maybe it’s telling your neighbor/friend/coworker that you support them, maybe it’s praying for opportunities, maybe it’s asking the right people the right questions. “How can I help?”, “Where do you need me?”, “How can I love you better?”
Like I said, I don’t always know what this looks like for me. Lately, I’ve felt so grief stricken it has been hard to find the will to make breakfast let alone peace. But we will never find out God’s will for a “Christian Response” if we aren’t pursuing it actively.
Ask – Learn – Heal