Yesterday, thousands of people died as an earthquake toppled buildings in Nepal. Today, there was another attempted school shooting in Washington. Tonight hundreds of people were overcome by fiery emotions as they turned to looting and burning in the streets of Baltimore.

And my heart breaks at the sheer monstrosity of it all.

So much grief. So much anger. So much darkness.

These days, I get nervous to scroll through my Facebook feed when huge events are in progress. Everyone has an opinion, an understanding, a target. It can be overwhelming to see the thoughts of others and to share in their unedited reactions to certain circumstances. Sometimes, its for good. Other times, debates break out as people try to grapple with understanding.

Its easy in our little corners of the world to be completely shielded from all that goes on. Social media may inform us, but it still distances us. Its easier then, to be apathetic, or worse, judgmental. We seem to take the stance of expert even when it isn't happening to us. Or argue that if it were happening to us, we would know how to handle it better.

Our reality, or at least mine, is that we aren't experts. We don't know. We don't understand. And yet, we still try to take a side.  Or defiantly type an opinion.

Taking a side is not the same as taking action. 
Posting a link is not the same as hitting our knees in prayer. 

Watching the clips from the riots in Baltimore gave me a glimpse into a world without Jesus. A dark place filled to the brim with undealt sin.

This was us. 
This was you and me. 

We rioted in places of our heart. Burning down the truths that God created for us. We tried to find our justice by our own ways, independent of Him. We were disenfranchised, shackled by a system of regret, guilt and misunderstanding.

We were no better before the cross.
In the ravages of our war-torn hearts, we are saved because of His death. 
Jesus IS the expert.

Jesus's reaction to our sin was not too look at us in disappointment or shame. He did not quantify our sin or discuss our position in life.

He loved us anyways.
He showed us grace anyways.
He hoped for us anyways.
As Believers, we are called to do as Jesus did.

If our reactions aren't love-filled, grace-filled, and hope-filled then we are doing something wrong. 
Dear friends, lets not justify the darkness or distract from it as we argue with one another as spectators. Let us come together and battle against it in prayer and in hope.

I am left with the image of a group of clergymen linking arms together and walking the empty and desolate streets of Baltimore. They are the light. They are the hands and feet of Jesus. I can only hope that we can be the same. That I can be the same.

Tonight, as others battle in the darkness my prayer is that I can learn to be the light.