The first message of my day in BOLD letters read: “A terrible shooting in Thousand Oaks Ca. Lots of Pepperdine students dead… She is OK.”
The “she” is my youngest niece, an exceptional student currently attending Pepperdine University. Thankfully, she is safe. Several of her friends and fellow students, however, are not OK. They will not be returning home alive to their families for the upcoming holidays. They will not be graduating with their hard-earned degrees from a highly competitive university in a few months. They will not be given the opportunity to change this country… My heart shatters yet again in deepest grief for the senseless loss of human life. In the face of another unspeakable gun tragedy, the question surfaces yet again: What will it take before we answer these repeated calls to come together in our country to enact some common sense reform?
Fortunately, as Bishop Michael Curry reflects in his new book, “The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s self-centeredness. Human community depends on love and selflessness to survive.” When it’s difficult to find a shred of hope or joy, I feel profound gratefulness for selfless humans in all capacities who willingly serve their communities in unconditional love through responding and answering calls. Gratefully, there were brave first responders in California who courageously answered the initial 911 call, running straight into bullets, and ultimately sacrificing personal life to save others. And since I don’t live in California to assist in some capacity, the local fire, police, and sheriff stations will have special deliveries of goodies tomorrow as a simple act of kindness for their service to our community. As my Momma would often remind me, “Sharing gratefulness with others helps us to find it within ourselves.”
So here’s your challenge on Day #26:
How will you choose to answer the call and share selflessness and love with another in the coming days?
Here’s hoping we all find a multitude of ways to provide the healing balm of grace as a selfless, loving answer to the call.