Eliminating The Noise to Hear the Spirit

The news has been bad lately.  Every day there seems to be a new controversy, another protest, another act of violence (sometimes several) somewhere in the world.  

This week I was shocked to find out that a school shooting plot was uncovered in the high school of a rural, small town in Florida not far from where I used to live and work.  

Every time I venture into social media, I am confronted with these realities.  A lot of people are angry and afraid.  It's overwhelming to experience all of it sometimes.  

"I'm cutting myself off from Facebook," a friend told me.  "And I'm thinking that I'm also going to stop watching the news.  It's just too much to absorb every single day."  I have to admit that I have been thinking the same thing.  

I do think there is a difference between shutting down the extraneous noise of social media and cable news, and shutting yourself off to the brokenness that surrounds you.  In fact, eliminating the noise in your life might actually help you to focus more on the hurts of this world, and what can be done about them.  

As tempting as it may be to withdraw from the pain, anger and struggle of this world, what is required of us as Jesus-followers is to stay engaged, and tirelessly work to find ways to ease the pain, to bring healing and peace---to love the world no matter how much it costs us.  

In her fine book The Broken Way Ann Voskamp wrote, "Sometimes it's so clear: we can only love in this world if we're willing to suffer with the world."  

A quick search of the Scripture this morning revealed hundreds of verses exhorting the people of God not to turn away from injustice, suffering and need.  One of them stood out to me: "How blessed are those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times!" (Psalm 106:3)

We don't get a day off from loving this broken world, and the people we encounter in it. It is our highest calling as followers of Christ.  It is part our very identity.  As Eugene Peterson once wrote, "We are most ourselves when we love."  

May you find ways to eliminate the noise in your life that keeps you from hearing the urging of the Spirit to love like Jesus.  May you pray, work, serve and tirelessly pursue peace and hope as you do your part to show the kingdom of God to the world.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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