Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Promise of Hope

The word hope in essence is the belief that everything will eventually turn out for the best.  As a Christian, our faith is based on hope.  It is based on the hope that God's promises are true.  It is based on the promise that ,All things work for the good of those who love God.  It is based on the promise that one day Jesus will return to this earth to bring us to our home in Heaven.  We have a great hope, but I just wonder sometimes how much we allow that hope to influence our lives, and the lives of others.

This world has little hope.  It has been deceived into believing that all that matters is the here and now.  Instead of living for a higher purpose, many just live day to day, just trying to pull everything out of this life that they can.  No wonder there is so much sadness.  When our perspective is based on the walls that trap us, and the tragedy around us, we can get so bogged down in negativity and hopelessness.

Hope, however, calls us to look up.  The walls are still there.  Injustice and tragedy are still there, but we can see that there is something beyond our present circumstances.  We begin to see a way out.  We begin to hope.

As Christians, our hope is in the trust that we place in Jesus as our Lord and savior.  Our hope is that we are forgiven of our sins, and that we are being restored into the person that God designed us to be.  Our hope is that one day, we will live as we were meant to live.  We are eternal beings created to have a relationship with Almighty God, and to be honest, life just does not get any better than that.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Peaceful Saturday Morning

This morning, the house is silent.  The television is off and the only sound is the sound of my fingers typing along the keyboard and the hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen.  It is one of those rare Saturday mornings where I have awakened and am curled up on the couch wrapped like a burrito in my warm furry blanket.

Outside, a two inch blanket of snow covers the ground.  At sunrise, I peeked outside to watch the first rays of the morning sun kiss the snow that fell Thursday night.  It washed the pure white snow in a lovely warm golden shade as the sun began its ascent into the winter sky.

To be honest, I cherish these moments when I am slow to wake.  I am purposeful to not think about the upcoming activities and the to do lists that need to be accomplished today.  It is just me, my laptop, and my peaceful thoughts this peaceful Saturday morning.

I cherish these moments as little gifts from God.  The joy of having a small moment wrapped in total peace and serenity when chaos envelopes the entire world.  So many people would love to just have one moments peace, and I am basking in it and reflecting on childhood memories and cherished loved ones.  I am blessed to occasionally have these moments, moments when all is well in the world and I am at total peace.  These are the moments where I can recharge, and align my priorities, and having found that rest and peace, I am ready to face another busy day!

(c) Jennifer Meyers 2011
 Text and Photo by Jennifer Meyers 2010, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thoughts on a Tradgedy

Gabrielle Giffords and solar power

Yesterday after getting home from my workout at the gym, I learned of the shooting at the Tucson Safeway, and how  Congresswoman Giffords was shot and  several people slain in the shootings.  This event made me think about how our society has changed over the last few decades, and just how much hatred and strife penetrates this earth.  Upon hearing the news, I prayed.  I prayed for the congresswoman, her family and friends, I prayed for those injured, I prayed for those whose lives were lost and their families.  I prayed for the doctors and nurses that cared for those hit.  
After praying, and finding out that the killer was a young man in his early 20's, I began wondering what causes someone to act with such hatred upon people who are total strangers.  How does a young soul with so much potential and so much life ahead of him carry out such an evil act?  I can't say that I have an answer except a life lived without knowing love, and soaked in bitterness and hatred for others, can only ooze out what has been put into it.  
This morning, I listened to an interview of the mother of the 9 year old girl who was slain in the Tucson shooting yesterday.  She recalled her daughter as being a princess, who was born on 9/11/01.  The girl loved red, white and blue, because of the patriotism and unity that tragic day brought out in America.  The mother's wish was that we would learn the lessons and that this kind of violence would not touch another family.
As I look back on the last 24 hours, it occurs to me that this tragic act hurts me because of the innocence and servant attitude of those who were slain.  They were people with families, with responsibilities, with children, people with hopes and dreams.  I was pulled into their lives through the media coverage that was present.  I have also thought about my local news where almost nightly there are news stories of people hurt or killed in shootings in our local area.  Somehow, my response to those stories, although happening in my proverbial back door did not affect me as much as those yesterday.  What makes those loss of lives more significant or less significant than another?  Maybe it is the fact that I am not personally pulled into their lives through media coverage, because those souls are just normal people, and not famous or of political stature.  Maybe I am getting calloused and have been desensitized to the violence that permeates this country.  I am afraid that it is a combination of the two factors that caused my difference in reactions.
Personally, I do not think that gun control or legislation is the answer to preventing such violence.  The violence is just a symptom of a bigger problem.  I think the problem stems from hatred and bitterness.  It stems from a lack of compassion and inability to empathize with others.  It stems from an inability to see how one act can be catastrophic and has a ripple effect across all of humanity.  It comes from a lack of respecting life and its sanctity.
In all honesty, I do believe that each and every life has a divine purpose.  Each soul is a priceless treasure full of dreams and the potential to do great things. The loss of any soul due to a violent act is a tragic loss.  When we realize this and actually live like we believe this, we might see others realizing the value of each person. Then, we could reach out in love to aid those who are hurting, impoverished, diseased, or disturbed.  When we start loving others as we have been loved by God and our families, then maybe we could counteract a portion of the hatred and bitterness that encapsulates such people and possibly bring about a change.  I know this is idealistic and would take a virtual miracle to occur, but if we never step out and make an emotional investment in the lives of people whom no one has ever invested their love and time into--we will never know the possibilities.
I know that as long as there are imperfect people inhabiting the earth, there will always be violence and strife.  But love can conquer many things...and its greatest challenge is conquering hatred.  Love is our only hope in conquering hatred, bitterness and violence, and its only cost is our time, and investing our life, into the life of another.

Jennifer Meyers (C) 2011