Building Bridges

Alex Kindred, Pastor of First Christian Church

It seems like the news these days is a steady stream of tragic events. Our televisions, our newspapers, our Facebook feeds are flooded with so many wars, so many shootings, so many troubles the world over that it quickly gets overwhelming. After the initial shock of whatever traumatic thing has happened, our politicians usually try to spin the event to one talking point or other; about then, when peoples’ anger starts to rise, I find myself feeling numb and checking out. Violence is everywhere, it seems. We here in Muscatine are no exception as shootings have happened in our very midst, even here in small-town Iowa.

It is easy to get down, to check out when it comes to this seemingly unsolvable problem of the cycle of violence. It is easy to give in to anger as well, and to blame politicians, guns, social policies, or whatever issues you might like to argue about. I’m not writing this because I have easy answers. Instead, I write as a person of faith. It takes faith to live during difficult times, because we are all too aware of how we cannot take things for granted. No, in the midst of all of this turmoil, we all need a source of hope. For me, as a Christian, my hope comes from God. In this day and age, I have to remember Good News that brings hope even as so much bad news comes on the television.

I don’t know, dear reader, what the source of your hope is, or where you find the energy to meet an uncertain future. But whatever that source is, wherever your energy comes from, hold close and fast to the goodness in your life. Treasure it. Remember to tell the people that you love how much you care about them. And as our world, and our political process, seems to tear us apart, never forget that a little bit of humor and a little bit of respect goes a very long way.

Even the most profoundly broken things are fixed only one piece at a time. So, as you go about your normal daily living, think of today as an opportunity to bring a little bit of peace to this world of ours, one conversation, one smile, one prayer at a time. Peace comes slowly and is hard-won. But like most precious things, it is always worth the effort.