A New Year always holds hope for a better world. But already, in this new year, a bit of that hope has diminished as I’ve mourned the destructive fires in Australia that have caused such suffering to so many. I am fearful of repercussions from the death of an Iranian military leader. Are we moving forward into yet another war that will claim too many lives and rob us of peace? And so many other deadly situations over which I seemingly have no control. My heart is heavy. What can I do? Thankfully, there are wise, compassionate hearts out there that share thoughts that call me to action in my own little corner of the world. L. R. Knost wrote recently, “Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.  all things break.  And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go! Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” This is something I can do – go love!

A post on Facebook speaks to me as well. (I’m sorry, I don’t have the author of this wise word):

“As the world fights to figure things out, I’ll be holding doors for strangers,

letting people out in front of me in traffic,

saying good morning,

keeping babies entertained in grocery lines,

stopping to talk to someone who is lonely,

being patient with sales clerks, smiling at a passerby.

Why?

Because I will not stand idly by and live in a world where love is invisible.

Join me in showing kindness, understanding, and judging less.

Be kind to a stranger,

give grace to friends who are having a bad day,

be forgiving of yourself – today and every day.

BE the change! BE the light! Start today and never stop!”

These things I can do and they will make a difference in my world. These are the things Christ calls me to do every day and there is a greater urgency than ever before to carry them out. I can make a difference. I must make a difference. GO love! A dear friend gave me a picture that sits on my desk. It bears a saying that comforts and confronts me as to what I can do in this difficult world. It reads, “Don’t shine so others can see you… Shine so that through you, others can see Him!” I must make sure others see Christ, that’s how I can ease the suffering and assure peace resides. It will be a full year…

Love,

Pastor John