Apr 19 2013

Resolving to be people of peace in today’s world

Larry Livingston

Sometimes we can’t avoid being confronted with the fragility of human life. How should we respond to acts of horror such as the recent attack at the Boston Marathon? Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director, reflects on this and other events to conclude that even in our frailty and vulnerability, the best of humanity can shine forth.


By Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director

After the attack at the Boston Marathon, I couldn’t help but think about how this week marks the anniversaries of infamous acts of violence in Waco, Columbine, Oklahoma City and Virginia Tech. It seems we are again subject to the awful determination of those who exploit human suffering for their own purposes.

The days when we were shocked by these acts sadly have passed. Still, losing the ability to be shocked by evil is not the same as taking it for granted.

Some of the most heroic people are those who witness acts of horror regularly, yet they never lose their resolve to be messengers of healing and peace.

There are many such heroes in the CFCA world. Sponsored persons, their families and our project staff live in places plagued by violence and corruption. They struggle valiantly, often in systems designed to keep people down.

Yet, our CFCA community does what they must — day in and day out — to be agents of hope and joy in the lives of those in need. Heroes, indeed!

I find it revealing that whenever a natural disaster or an act of mass violence happens in the United States, our project colleagues and our sponsored friends are inevitably among the first to reach out to us in prayer and concern. While some might find this surprising, what it teaches us is that those who suffer the most can also be the most empathetic to the sufferings of others.

Therein lies a profound truth about humanity. We are frail. We are vulnerable. But it is in that frailty and vulnerability that the best of humanity shines forth. Our weakness can be our greatest strength, if only we allow God’s grace to flow through us. This week, we need to hold that close.

The sun rose today, leaving us trying to navigate our way through a world in which fear never seems to stay quiet for long. We are determined not to be consumed by anger as we look for rays of light in the darkness. We can seek that light and the hope it brings. We can see what is good and what we can all become.

And we can dig in on our resolve to be people of peace.

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