I’ve been reading quite a lot from blogs and news sources. Listened to people talk. And I find the polarization sometimes disconcerting. Especially, among those who follow Yeshua. I understand that people hold differing positions and opinions on myriad topics. These range from marriage to gun control, to politics, to faith itself. I don’t for a minute think that these differences are bad or wrong-headed. But, what I find more and more distasteful is the vitriol that is being thrown about without any concern for the recipients nor those who are witness to it. When someone on social media writes about hate and destruction, it’s not only those to whom the flames are directed, but all of the others who have access to the heat who inevitably get burned also. The words, paradoxically, then become fuel for more flames and hate to feed upon. There are ways to express opposition and displeasure without becoming hateful and destructive. For those of us who claim allegiance to Yeshua the Messiah, the God who walked among us, there is no choice.
There are few people in history who have grasped this concept better than St. Francis of Assisi. Anyone can search online for details about this son of God’s life. I want to share just one thing that has been attributed to him. It has become simply known as The Prayer of St. Francis.
- Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
- Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
- Where there is injury, pardon.
- Where there is doubt, faith.
- Where there is despair, hope.
- Where there is darkness, light.
- Where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love.
- For it is in giving that we receive.
- It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Perhaps, if we can let these words sink into the deep recesses of spirit and mind we can actually become instruments of God’s peace; salt and light within a decaying and dark world. The choice belongs to us.