I am a believer in God, and in His son, Jesus Christ. I realize, accept, and respect that my beliefs are not that of everyone else in the world, and that some choose to believe differently, or not at all. And I respect that. (To find out more about what I personally believe, and why, click here.)
But as it is my belief that we--as in every single one of us human beings on God's earth--are His beloved children, that we are all brothers and sisters. There is no differentiation between races, religions, nationalities, sexualities, beliefs, or lifestyles. We are all literally Heavenly Father's children, and as such, we are expected to live with certain behavioral expectations that shouldn't be to hard to carry out.
Respect, compassion, kindness, understanding, affection, patience, and humility.
In a nutshell: Love.
All of those things can be whittled down to one thing, and that is love. Without love for your fellow man, you cannot have compassion. Without love for your fellow man, you cannot have understanding. Without love for your fellow man, you cannot exhibit humility.
Simply put, LOVE is literally the answer.
And brothers and sisters, we are not doing a very good job at loving one another. Not a good job at all. In fact, it is my belief that we are letting our Father in Heaven down in an epic way. He did not create us to hate. He created us to beautify, cultivate, and care for the earth. He created us to live, learn, and flourish. He created us to multiply and replenish the earth. He created us to learn and grow and ultimately return to Him after a job well done.
We are failing at this mission. Failing miserably.
Though my family lives as expats in South Korea, we are Americans who hail from the great Washington State. Our hearts belong to our home country, and that is where we plan to return to in 301 days. But today my family is in mourning. We are mourning not only for the loss of lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, but for the lives being lost on a regular basis in countless other cities for similar crimes. Racism and terrorism have taken over the hearts and minds of so many of God's children, turning them away from Him, and towards our common enemy, Satan. There is literally no other explanation for these repugnant, vile, spineless acts of terror, hate, and pure, unadulterated evil.
This is not the world God intended us to live in. This is not the purpose God created the earth for.
We should be ashamed.
I am. Are you?
Whether a human being is black, white, asian, Jewish, gay, or anything else imaginable, he or she is my brother or sister. Period. He or she is your brother or sister. It disturbs me that I even have to explain this, but: we do not spew hate at our brothers and sisters. We may not agree with them. We may not understand them. We may not even feel like we can be in the same room with them. But we do not hate our brothers and sisters. We do not march in rallies that condemn them. We do not preach against them. We do not take rights from them. We do not ever, ever utter the words "ethnic cleansing" in relation to our brothers and sisters. And we do not, do not ever kill our brothers and sisters.
To think otherwise, is to live against our Father in Heaven's wishes, and I, for one, will not participate in such vile behavior. If you claim to be a man of God, a woman of God, or a child of God, you should give a second thought to doing so as well. Because to behave in such deplorable, despicable, hateful ways is to go against the will of God--our Father.
From now on, I will pray for peace. Not just world peace, much like we pray for good weather for Saturday's game. But for actual, true peace--peace in the towns, peace in the cities, peace in the countrysides, peace in the souls and hearts and minds of myself, and my billions and billions of brothers and sisters on God's earth.
"As I have loved you, love one another. By this shall man know ye are my disciples."
Practice what you preach. Live what you claim. Love your fellow man--even the ones you cannot stand. Love them. That is our only way out of this awful, disgraceful, sinful pattern that we brothers and sisters have all fallen into.
I will be the change I want to see in the world.
I love you, Brothers and Sisters. Pass it on.