Hope is Action part 2

God is absolutely amazing. I posted yesterday about hope in action and then last night we had one of the most powerful worships I’ve ever been to, about just that. Be prepared for some tears from this post.

We began worship by being led, with our eyes closed, to our chairs by the kids who were assigned to lead worship for the evening. We then dived into a testimony from a young woman attending camp this week, Maxine Nazaire, who lost a friend in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Maxine knew many people attending school there. One of her friends that she attended middle school with was shot and killed while shielding a classmate.

With tears of pain that can only come from this tragedy, Maxine said, “In times of frustration, confusion, stress, and heartbreak, I felt an emptiness that pulled me to look at God with nothing but pain and ask him what is hope?”

She said all the words that so many of these kids feel about our world right now with such raw anger and pain and grief. “My frustration with God heightened: Why? Why did you let someone with so much anger in their heart come into a school and destroy the lives of not just seventeen people, but their families? Their friends? Loved ones? And then there’s so many other reasons to feel hopeless. How does a country feel hope when there still isn’t clean water in Flint, Michigan, when there’s epidemic level gun violence in Chicago? And when there’s innocent minorities dying unjustly? When people are being discriminated against just because of the person they love?”

Take a moment to feel the pain of these high school kids. These young people who are grieving, who are scared. But yet- they put ACTION into their hope. Maxine said, “How do you restore your faith and your hope when there’s so many things preventing that? How do you nurse the wounds you carry inside? You take that anger away, and you turn that into passion. And I’ll admit I have anger, but it’s driving, hardcore anger that wants change.”

A young woman, Alexa Taylor, also attending our camp, came up afterward and gave a call to action. And I relay this call to action to all of you. Alexa said, “words are a beautiful and powerful thing. To hope that something will get better or to have faith that you can achieve a certain goal- it’s great. But too often, people will not match their actions to their words, or take the necessary steps to at least try and match them. As Disciples of Christ, we hold the responsibility of pushing through obstacles, trusting one another, and leaning on one another to take our extreme faith in God and great hope in the things close to our hearts and putting it into action. If we all light up, we could scare away the dark.”

 

God, help us all learn from kids. Help us do better. Help us take action.

 

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