Light in the Dark

I am heart sick tonight.

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Not because of the election.

Not because there’s a rumor that Drake and T. Swift are dating.

But because of a piece of news I heard just the other night.

Over the weekend, at my cousin’s university, there was a tragedy. His roommate: a kind, loving, and incredibly smart young man, passed away after being the victim of a hate crime.

For being Muslim.

He was jumped and ended up in a coma. He passed a day later.

How truly tragic.

I did not know this young man, but my cousin was his best friend and roommate. And it just pains my heart to think that someone could act out in hate towards another person like that.


There’s a lot of rhetoric going around lately about immigrants and muslims and walls and whatnot. It’s nauseatingly pervasive.

And to be quite honest, I don’t exactly know all of the politics surrounding all of these issues, but I do know that this young man did not deserve to die.

I sometimes think about what Jesus would think if He were to walk around on Earth today. How would He act? What would He say?

But the more I think about it, the world we live in now is not so unlike the world Jesus found Himself in. With religious tension, corrupt dictators, huge gaps between the haves and the have-nots, an underworld of vice…I mean, they were publicly flogging people, for crying out loud.

As they say, “same ‘crap,’ different day.”

And what did Jesus do?

He loved.

Everyone. 

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This young man fell victim to a person or persons, acting from a place of ignorance and darkness and hate.

What are we to do when that happens?

Truly. I’m asking. Because I am at a loss for words. Sickened by the lowness of humanity.

We are all children of God. No matter our religion. Our gender. Our race. The language we speak. What our income is. What our political slant is. We are all made by God.

We are all sisters and brothers.

Which, excuse the cliche, but it is the truth.

Perhaps if we were to approach how we talk to others, how we handle our disputes with our classmates or landlords, how our nation governs itself, how we treat the homeless, our veterans, the sick, the unborn, the mentally ill — each and every person — no exception — was made by God and is therefore inherently good.

Why can’t that be part of our worldview? Our foreign policy? The way we treat others?

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This young man, *sigh* I am just sickened by the cruelness of the world and my heart breaks for his family and friends and my cousin.

Yes, there is darkness in the world, but you and I, we can be lights.

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We can live our lives in a way that reminds those around us that there is goodness still. There is hope still. There is a reason to go on.

And if each of us lights up our own little dusty corner of the world, we can make a difference. Because light, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, it makes a difference. It shines and encourages others to do the same.

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I pray for those left behind in the wake of this tragedy, and I also pray for you reading this. That you and I may have the courage to be that light when the world is dark.

It matters.

Now more than ever.

It matters.

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329 thoughts on “Light in the Dark

  1. I’m filly with you on this. We’re ALL children of God and every single one of us does have the potential to be a light in this darkness. I pray that I’m a light as bright as you are. Stay blessed 😘

    1. Thank you 🙂 yeah, we all have that in us to be a bright spot in our communities. You are! You have been such a light to me, and I am so grateful for your friendship 🙂 big hugs to you xox

      1. You’re welcome and thank you for your kind words and support 🙂 they’re truly appreciated as well as our friendship. I always look forward to your blog posts because they’re so hopeful and raw.

  2. Another incredible, thought-provoking post. It is true there is a lot of darkness and evil in the world. It gets quite a bit of attention in the news, social media, and just about everywhere. I decided awhile ago I can mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in my small sphere of daily human interactions, and rejoice with those I interact with, as well. I can be a light for those to the extent that my light casts its glow. That is really the only way I have learned how to process the darkness of this world. I have to believe that Jesus Christ will bring the peace that our world so deeply needs. Thanks for your heartfelt thoughts,
    Robert, the “Thunker.”

    1. Thank you Robert, this is such a beautiful outlook on life. You’re so right, we all have a small spare of daily human interactions, and our light and encouragement can make a big difference to those around us. Keep doing you. You rock 🙂 big hugs xox

  3. Reblogged this on thotsfromgeorge and commented:
    Pls read this, think about it. More than thinking of what is written, let’s think of our own lives. Not that I think anyone reading this were hurt another person, specially over a racial matter, but how about thoughts. What do you think, deep down, where no one else sees or hears. Jesus Christ knows each thought. He taught us to love all, and to show love to all.
    I give a challenge that we each do this, daily, every opportunity, be nice, smile, seriously. This is serious business, about real lives, real people, each one who Jesus created and loves. Thank you.
    George

      1. Also shared on fb. Your post is so heart wrenching it needs to be seen by many, and the thoughts of many need to be reconsidered in their own minds.

  4. it feels like the world is getting madder every day (even though it has always been like this), I can’t understand people that want to harm others, I just don’t get it :/

  5. It is extremely tragic, what happened to that young Muslim man. And really that is the unfortunate climate of society we live in, no matter what you’re religion. As you alluded to, there’s hate, divisive rhetoric, selfish politics and a slew of other ridiculous things that people seem to really think are important or worth doing.

    We as Christ Followers most certainly have a duty to not harshly judge others in a manner that is even more divisive or painful, but rather educate and love on people and try to empathize with their struggles, their thoughts, their pains. Sure, sometime we have to stand our ground and be strong. And sometimes that means speaking truths and our minds.

    But above all, we need to continue to live as lights to others–as living examples of how different and set apart God was and is, and the type of lifestyle that allows us the freedom away from all of those nasty things. Honestly, the world needs the Church, us, showing a Christ-like lifestyle now more than ever, I think.

    I will definitely pray for your cousin and the family of the young man!! It breaks my heart hearing this type of stuff. What a great post nonetheless.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers. What a powerful reflection. You’re right — we need to love others. Practice empathy. And work to unify. So so true. Thank you for this support and kindness. Big hugs to you xx

  6. This is terrible. I’m so sorry. May we all shine our lights in the darkness. 

    From: BeautyBeyondBones To: adriennekb100@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, November 3, 2016 7:00 PM Subject: [New post] Light in the Dark #yiv4253943010 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4253943010 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4253943010 a.yiv4253943010primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4253943010 a.yiv4253943010primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4253943010 a.yiv4253943010primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4253943010 a.yiv4253943010primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4253943010 WordPress.com | beautybeyondbones posted: “I am heart sick tonight.Not because of the election.Not because there’s a rumor that Drake and T. Swift are dating.But because of a piece of news I heard just the other night.Over the weekend, at my cousin’s university, there was a tragedy. His ” | |

  7. It is very sad, and that’s why I think a vote for our secular leaders should not depend on any sort of belief. People vote for their ‘belief leaders’ every day or every week, by choosing what house of worship to attend, or choosing none of them. That is a right. But a secular leader is compelled, or should be, to accommodate all people, and work to serve everyone. Thus, our votes should be for who benefits the greatest number of people, in my opinion.

    This election has brought some people to the forefront who should never have felt emboldened. I’m sorry for your cousin’s loss, and the family of the roommate. It’s not my America.

    1. Hi Ward, thank you for your support. It is just so sad that this young man lost his life because of a senseless, cruel act of hatred. It is tragic. Glad you stopped by. Big hugs xo

  8. This is such a sad story and it is not what God wants at all. As Christians we must not hate or we become the thing we hate. We cannot attack those who are different than us or those who disagree with us because then we lose ourselves. That said the reason this happened is because all people are inherently sinful and unless a man opens himself up to the love of Jesus that man is capable of the most heinous evil

  9. Such a good post. I’m so sorry for the darkness in the world and for the sadness and grief this family is going through. The only way to drive out darkness is to burn a little brighter, love a little harder. Hang in there and take heart.

    1. Thank you friend. I appreciate your kind words. Yes, my heart absolutely goes out to this family too. Burn a little brighter. I like that 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. hugs xo

  10. Light and Dark fight against each other in this world. There is Light side and Dark side in all things. World consits of Light side and Dark side. God knows how both sides are, of course. There are a lot of appearances to be unfair on our communities but there is reasons there. To be sure, there is no unfair in this world. God doesn’t allow such unfair because God is always fair. When people don’t understand the reason, they say it is unfair.

  11. God Bless You for writing this!! How sad this is. Everybody today goes on about how we’re all different between Muslims, Christians and Jews. Do you know what is the only thing that separates us? Its the fact that Abraham did not accept his illegitimate son Ismael. So Ismael went out into the dessert on his own in life and through him along came Islam. If Ismael HAD been accepted into Abraham’s fold (as he should have been), so much would have been so different today. This hatred needs to stop. It is ripping our world apart with the acts of some. Hugs You!! Love always! xoxoxoxo

    1. Thank you Migueltio. I know, it is so heartbreaking. You’re right – the hatred needs to stop. we need to live in love. thanks for your support, my friend. Hope all is well in your world. xox

  12. This makes me angry and sad at the same time. He didn’t deserve to die because of someone elses prejudice, preconceptions, or fear. When will we stop seeing ourselves as Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Bhuddist, Jewish, etc. and start seeing ourselves as fellow human beings? It’s hopelessly optimistic, I know, but I live treating others as I would like to be treated.

    1. Hi there friend, thank you for your support. You’re so right – he did not deserve that. And how gut wrenching it is. I love how you live your life. If only more people would adopt that way of compassion. Sending big hugs to you xox

  13. May God have mercy on all of us. I’m reminded of what Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. You’re right it’s not too late, we can do this and change the world.

    1. Thank you friend. You’re right, we CAN be the change. If we each practice compassion and love, imagine how many people we can positively impact. 🙂 Thanks for your support. big hugs xx

  14. Very wise words filled with so much truth. I hate how this world is so dark, it can be intimidating at times, but also empowering and push me to shine His light even brighter and show His love even stronger – which it appears your heart burns for it as well. Great work – on the blog (I’ve loved all that I’ve read!) and on being a light. My prayers are with those the young man’s loved ones.

    1. Thank you for this reflection. You’re right, there is a lot of darkness, but God is brighter. And His love and light in us is brighter. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. Sending big big hugs xox

  15. Amen….

    As Pope Francis said, “let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.” We are called to show this in each step we take in the world.

    Let’s pray for peace, tolerance and understanding.

    1. Hi Rob, thank you for this. You’re so right…that is a beautiful prayer. Peace, tolerance and understanding. What a different world we would live in if we all adopted those powerful and life-changing things. Hugs to you xo

  16. Good overall message Caralyn. Sad to hear about your cousin’s roommate.

    I thought of this quote while reading your post: “Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Supposedly spoken by Gandhi and I feel that it may bring some light and hope amidst the darkness.

    Love your posts, as always.

  17. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship … This goal excelleth every other goal, and this aspiration is the monarch of all aspirations. ~ Bahá’u’lláh

    You speak the truth. Love is the answer.

  18. Your writing style is similar to my own. I haven’t come across that much. Prayers are with this family. May people who are the hands and feet of Jesus demonstrate His love to them.

  19. Very sorry to hear about the passing away of your cousin’s roommate. May his soul rest in peace. I have always believed that hate, like ego, is an emotion that causes more harm to the self than to the outside world. The more efforts we take to overcome these demons from within us the better… And the best way to overcome it is by love. The more love you have within you, less space for unwanted emotions like hate and ego within you.

  20. As you said, little has changed sins the scriptures were written. Evil, hate and bigotry seem to expand as does intolerance. We can pray and live by our observable actions. Understanding the hatred may be beyond our comprehension. God hears every word of our communal prayers and heals every shattered heart.

  21. Heartbreaking and tragic. I am praying for everyone affected. I appreciate another compassionate heart; that is the heart of Jesus. When I hear of incredible injustices and great evil in our world I am reminded of several verses they bring me back to the peace and love of Christ Jesus.
    (John 16:33) I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
    (John 14:27)Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.
    2 Corinthians 6:4
    Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and calamities;
    Lastly, probably one of my favorite verse’s
    2 Corinthians 2:14
    But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
    The reason this is one of my many favorites is that Christ leads us to victory already in hand, why? He has already overcome the world!! Praise God. Jesus, tells us over and over that during this physical realm we will see trouble, hardships, and calamities but even Jesus himself saw first hand and felt the sting and loss of death. We see in the gospels Jesus wept for Lazarus because he humanly felt the absence and He saw the pain and suffering of those left behind (That is my understanding don’t take that down in ink). I think your broken heartedness is just a beautiful fragrance of the knowledge of Him! As long as we are loving Him with all our hearts souls and minds and, then loving our neighbors as ourselves, then we are following the greatest of commands! Love covers a multitude of sin, oh the striving of Christ’s love in this human frailty is beyond me! What a miracle we have in Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord, for grace! Amen! Praying for all involved I see Him through you!! God Bless <3 ( Sorry for the long post hahaha that would be the teacher and writer in me 😉 ) Keep on writing!! I enjoy reading!!

  22. Thanks for the encouragement to live a life of compassion. Kindness and compassion are in short supply. We are our brother’s keeper, no matter who they are. #Goldenrule

  23. It’s very sad. As a Muslim it is also a little scary whenever I hear of news like this. It’s a shame that people of God cannot get along. I love that you wrote about this, but I am sorry that your heart is aching. I’ll join in prayer with you for the family and all those that have been impacted by this tragedy. It’s my hope and prayer to one day see all the children of God join together despite doctrines of understanding to coexist in peace. Thank you for your light sister. May God continue to Bless you and may your heart find peace. Peace and love.

    1. Hi Ilyas. I’m so sorry this His so close to home. I know it break my heart that the world has come to this. Yes, we must pray. And continue to practice compassion and inclusion. Thanks for this beautiful and powerful perspective. Much love to you friend. Sending massive hugs. Xox

  24. That is terribly upsetting. I know violence isn’t the answer but I hope there is a punishment fitting the crime to those that committed such a blatant act of hate. I hope your cousin is doing well.

  25. Death is hard and makes hardness in people because every death is senseless. It is hard to understand and harder to come to an understanding with because it’s selfish. Jesus was given poison at crucifixion but refused, the Greek word was Chole. It sounds like gall but for Him to have that much selflessness in death makes those that seek death in self or others that much more selfish. I want to believe I’d have the same strength at death like Jesus, like your cousin’s roommate to not take poison. I think that’s why we’re here to find those principles to live and even carry those lifesaving principles into our deaths.

      1. I, like hugs. I have lost many friends through the military and in my life. Love and gaining perspective is something we as people have rarely tried. Our lives may be different but it is our differences that make us great as a nation. I’ve experienced many cultures and it only strengthens my faith in humanity. Our common thread is that we are human and that should be enough.

      2. I’m so very sorry to hear that. You’re right…we all have that common thread. I wish people would realize that, and see that instead of our differences. xx

  26. I’d heard about this in the news and was so disturbed by it. It’s quite surprising to know your cousin was his roommate, and also shows again what a small world we live in. Unfortunately, this kind of divisive hatred of those who are different from us is spreading, especially in this political climate. When we speak or think negatively of others, we harm ourselves and it reflects what we carry inside of us. So, yes, I agree that we need to be a light in this world, and keep praying that we see what we need to see inside ourselves as well. Thanks for this post, Caralyn, on the need to be love in the world.

    1. Hi Pauline, yes what a small world. That’s such a powerful perspective. It’s true. Our words and actions reflection what we carry inside of us. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  27. I love this: “We can live our lives in a way that reminds those around us that there is goodness still. There is hope still. There is a reason to go on.” What a beautiful thought.

    May God be with your cousin and his roommate’s family in their sorrow.

  28. You may delete this post if you wish; it doesn’t fit the tone of the other comments.

    I’m sorry this murder happened, but it is just one of many killings. There were over 6,000 hate crimes in the US in 2015 and crimes against Muslims were up 78% over the year before. Figures for 2016 aren’t available yet. They are probably much higher as hate groups are feeling empowered this year by the Trump campaign.

    Yes, Jesus loved. But he also spoke up. He taught. He didn’t pretend that nothing was happening or “it’s none of my business.” He neither pretended ignorance nor inertia. Those are luxuries for which he had not time, and neither do we now.

    We saw with Hitler what happens when good people stay silent. Did we learn anything? Silence and inaction give permission to evil. Jesus wasn’t silent or inert.

    Along the same lines, there was a quote attributed to a chaplain at Pearl Harbor, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” As a friend says, “positive thought without positive action produces positively nothing.”

    The hate groups are rising (the KKK, the Nazis, the white supremacists) as are the hate politicians. The could slither back where they came or become the next generation of Brownshirts. If the latter, the killing is just starting. Will you try to stop them or help them? There’s no neutral ground.

    I believe God gave us eyes so that we could pay attention, and brains so that we could understand and act as needed. That’s what Jesus did and its what we need to do.

    1. Hi Vic, thank you for this perspective. There is definitely some strong food for thought here. I do think we all can prayerful consider taking a stand against bigotry and racism and hatred. We can lead by example. We can say something. We can teach the next generation compassion and empathy. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Hugs and love xox

  29. Amazing post. All the hate in this world is becoming so overwhelming, but you make such a great point. In times like these, we need to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” and, “How can I make the world a better place today?” Love one another, day in and day out.

  30. This hurts to read. Out of so many senseless acts this has to be high on the list. I will say a prayer for his family and yours as you mourn & celebrate such a beautiful life. Why world? We can all love better. We need to love better.

    -JV

    1. Hi JV, thank you for the prayers. Yes, we need to pray for those affected by this tragedy. And you’re so right, it hurts to read about this cruel act of hate. Amen to that- this world needs love. Hugs to you friend xox

  31. So sad! This here is one thing you can continue to do. Bring light to the world by testifying Christ. In these dark times the world needs more who speak out and shine. Beautiful, poignant and heartbreaking piece! My prayers ❤️🙏🏻

  32. An incredibly honest and moving piece. And yes – we must be the light and remember that we are all light. Even in the face of darkness. God bless this young man and his family – and thank you for sharing such a raw and thoughtproving blog xx

  33. I’m afraid my words may be inadequate against the heartache you must be feeling. My heart broke as i read this piece for you, for your cousin and for your cousin’s roommate. Hearing things like this makes me so sad and angry. How wicked does a person have to be to cause another person such harm and for no reason other than their difference from them. I’ll be praying for all involved and also that the culprits are found and made to face the consequences. The world is deteriorating. But God is still in charge and he will fight for the innocent. God bless you. Take care. <3

  34. Ohh my lovely, my heart goes out to his family and friends. This disconnection in our society can be healed with love. We can each flow love <3 Hugs for you and your cousin. <3

  35. thank you for posting this. there can never be too much reminding that our path in life has been marked out and it is to love all of creation.

    too easily we forget that every bit of it is a miracle we share in and worthy of our love, attention and praise.

  36. The world is so broken. My heart aches for the boy who lost his life and his family, your cousin, and all who knew and loved him. My heart aches for the one or ones that attacked him as well. They too were made by God and therefore inherently good. I pray that God opens their eyes to his light and that they realize what they have done.

  37. I am sick about this with you….I have a Global Campaign I want to start which is…
    “Save The Humans From Themselves”
    We seriously need to help each other survive…
    Regardless of Religion, Race, Socio-Economic Level or Sexual Preference
    Instead of killing each other because of different thought’s, Color, Amount of Money, or Sexual Preference.
    or The Human Race will Kill Itself Off.
    I am so sorry about your loss.
    Blessings and Join Me In my “Save The Humans from Themselves”

  38. We live in a “fallen world”. This present chaos isn’t what God intends for us to live in. Jesus came in love and He was crucified for not “going along” with the status quo. His love, compassion, and Godly character threatened the power structure of the religious elites. The climate in our current culture is one of hate and division, as promoted by some political agendas but we must remember as it says in Ephesians 6: 12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Jesus taught us to love, even in persecution, and not hate. Scripture plainly tells us we will reap that which we sow. If you sow wheat there is no way you will get a harvest of beans. If we, as Christians, sow in love and acceptance the world WILL reject us because of their convicted spirits, but they rejected Christ first. Satan sows hate and division in the hearts of those that rejects the loving gift of redemption and salvation from our Father God and Jesus’ obedience at the cross. We need to live in the good works God has prepared for us to do. We are not saved by good works but we are saved unto good works as it tells us in Ephesians 2:10. My heart goes out to the family of the man that was killed because of hate, just like Caine killed his brother Able. Our enemy is Satan. We need to love people, and hate sin. Sorry if I got a little long winded but many people respond to only what they see and scripture tells us of the spiritual conflict that goes on outside of our physical realm.

    I am an old man so I remember the song, “what the world needs now is love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUaxVQPohlU

  39. Sometimes in our tradition, when someone is hurting so bad and you equally hurt same for them, it’s so thoughtful that you just go and sit by them and say nothing until it’s time for you to leave. I personally have appreciated such emotional support in my losses. Dear princess Carolyn, visualize me right there just sitting until the wee hours before I nod and leave… To Him we life our supplication in Jesus’ mighty name Amen

  40. Hello again beautiful light-bearer
    For a long time I have said, and still maintain that for this new paradigm we need a new cosmology. Religion is based on history and tradition, while faith is based on spirituality. There is no future for us other than universalism. What sounds sentimental ‘we are all brothers and sisters’ is absolutely fundamentally true. Which is an ironic choice of language since it is fundamentalism that stands in our way, asserting superiority/righteousness/favour of one group above another legitimised by ‘God’s holy word’! and thereby justifying acts of prejudice and hate. You are right – what would Jesus think. When Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no-one can come to the Father except through me’ was he condoning sectarianism – exclusive membership of a club which never existed then, and certainly he was never a member of! Or did he mean, my way – the example of my life and awareness of the ‘I am’ presence (what some might call Christ consciousness) within each one of us. His way was unconditional, universal love. Ultimately there is only Love. God, our source is Love, and he is our eternal home. ALL OF US.
    I feel for your pain, and at the same time are encouraged and heartened by your compassion and understanding. You are so right – now more than ever before that light of the ‘enlightened’ needs to shine more brightly and not be hidden. Speak out, and continue to speak out beautful soul against all forms of hatred, even when it is thinly disguised in the most unexpected places.
    You may find the following blog interesting if you don’t already follow it…
    https://johnsmallman2.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/all-your-fears-and-anxieties-are-baseless/
    Much love dear sister and friend. Xxx❤️

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. You’re so right, God IS our source of love and we are all family. I look forward to checking out that post. Hugs and love xox

  41. We (as a human race) have far more in common, than we do differences. hugs, blessings and prayers for your cousin as he grieves this terrible loss.

  42. Yesterday I attended a speech where Nigel Farrange was declaring his political view for Brexit… I left the speech more concious than ever that a person that preaches segragation cannot be taken seriously…

    1. Hi Valentina, wow that sounds really powerful. I’m not super familiar with all the ins and outs of brexit but I know how divisive it was. And segregation is never something we should stand for. Thanks for your thoughts. Hugs and love xox

  43. Hi Caralyn ❤️. I haven’t been keeping up with blogging over the past several weeks, and for that I apologize. I was neither reading nor writing much, and as notifications of new posts piled up in my inbox, I felt more and more daunted about “falling behind,” thinking, “I will never catch up,” and further avoiding WordPress. For some reason, I read the first few lines of this post, and you snapped me out of my complacency.

    You remind me of the radical call to a different life – one that is not defined by the way the world evaluates what is “good,” “just,” or “true” (or “good enough”). The love of Jesus is a radical love that calls us to be totally fearless. You are so right that all of these xenophobic messages about immigration and the dangers posed by refugees, etc. come from places of fear. Those fears are not unfounded. Simply look to the heinous crimes like the mass of rapes that were committed in Cologne. Yet, Jesus calls us to love BEYOND our fear, despite the tremendous risks. He himself is the model for how to do this, and he ended up on a cross, so we can expect that in this broken world, we will get hurt along the way, but that is why we need to strengthen and encourage each other. I think of the passage from 1 John 4:18-19. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” All we can do is love back, fiercely and defiantly, and not succumb to the same fear and hate that brought us to this point. With love, we stop the cycle of punishment, retribution, pain, and anger, which only leads to more violence. Thank you for speaking up about this topic, especially in this politically charged climate. I wholeheartedly stand by your side. Six billion little lights would set the world on fire! It starts with each one of us, but we don’t have to struggle alone. The Holy Spirit is with you, and me, and each one of us. I am praying for us, and sending you much love. And, in this month of remembrance of All Saints and All Souls, I am praying for your cousin’s friend, that he may know the peace the world cannot give. xoxoxo

  44. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing this disturbing news. I will definitely be praying with you for God to comfort your cousin and the family of this young man. What a horrible loss for all of them.

  45. This is such a true and heartfelt post. I am so sorry to hear of your cousin’s best friend’s death, it is just so sad.

    You have inspired me to try to become more like Jesus, and be a lamp for this dark world. 🙂

  46. I don’t propose to know the reason for this crime, as by your account this young man was an average guy attending college, and I can’t know the minds of the people who committed this evil act.
    I agree with you in your belief that we are all created by the same creator, but to say we are all inherently good is a contradiction to my understanding of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve; both chose to willfully disobey their creator after being deceived by the author of evil. Their first son is the first recorded murderer of mankind; he having killed his own flesh and blood sibling.
    This is dangerous times across our world–for people of all walks of life. There is a possibility this crime was rooted in fear–which is in no way a justification. My concern is this is just a sampling of what is to come, particularly towards Christians: as to Islam we are “infidels” (unbelievers).
    To understand the teachings of the Quran is to understand the roots of fear when it comes to those who embrace Islam. Here is one sampling:
    Quran (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”
    The following link is where I found it: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx
    To view more Quran quotes is to better understand where fear may stem from.
    Please understand I do not condone violence against any people, but sadly I recognize we do not live in a safe world. I do not see a one world religion as the answer, because I know all people do not worship the same God.
    I believe those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ are to proclaim His gospel and, as you stated, be a light in this dark world.
    Gospel: God offering sinful people eternal life.

    1. Hi there, thank you so much for this reflection. I’ve never heard that acronym of the gospel, but I like it! God Offering Sinful People Eternal Life. So true. And thank you for this perspective. I am not familiar with the teaching of the Quran, but I do know that we are to love our neighbor. I’ll definitely have to read that link. Thanks for passing it along. Hugs and love xox

  47. A beautiful post. May Allah grant him the highest place in Jannah. Ameen. I am sorry to hear this. So much hate in the world. But also so much hope and love from people like you.

  48. Very said, my thoughts and well wishes are with your cousin. The only thing we can do is try to put as much kindness into the world even when hatred pushes back. It’s why I’m a nurse. I love helping people, regardless if they’re people who are unkind or cruel. I don’t know why they became they way they did, it’s not my story to tell, but I help them to hopefully inspire them to make a change in their lives and help others. Maybe I’ve done that, maybe I haven’t, but I’ll keep trying for as long as I live.

  49. I am sorry for your cousin’s loss and for the heartbreak caused to this young man’s family and loved ones. As you say, only the light and love of God can transform the hearts of bigots. We need to cry out to God in prayer and intercession.

  50. So very sad..my sympathies to your cousin and this young man’s family.
    And how ironic, that on this same day, a first for me, I took a Muslim family to the park; the mother dressed in full hijab and not able to speak one word of English. She left everything she knows…I just wanted to be a friend, some light.

  51. These senseless acts of violence sadden me as well and we can only pray for change. As a parent I think it could be my son that another decides should be unjustly attacked or killed based on that individual’s hatred and intolerance. By writing about this you have spread your light and kindness to others.

  52. So sorry. You hear about these things happening but it is really tough when it hits close to home. The actions of a few should not lead to blanket condemnation of an entire religion of approximately one billion followers. I used to teach English as a Second Language. Classes included probably hundreds of Muslims over the years, so I can say there are a lot more good people among them than bad. There were a few I had problems with, but that was true of any religion, race, ethnicity, or nationality.
    Any way you group people (including Christian or American, by the way), there are going to be some good and bad among them. That seems so obvious to me, but I am still amazed how many people there are who don’t see that. And this campaign season hasn’t helped – they’re rapists, murderers, ban all of them from coming into the country… I really think his rhetoric has a part in stirring up hatred like this. Well, don’t get me started. Anyway, take care. I’m sending hugs and prayers your way. ooX

    1. Thank you so much for this insight David, I know, it is incredibly sad and tragic. You’re right-grouping people deduces them to just a “lump” instead of seeing each person as the precious and unique individual that they are. I appreciate your perspective! Hugs and love xox

  53. Well said! I’m totally with you on this. And it’s tragic that we don’t understand love. This IS the problem! And God IS love, so we cannot say we know God and not love others. My prayer is that we embrace the One who has embraced us and learn how to love one another like He loves us. Amen.

  54. Very well said and sadly much needed. It can be hard to remember that how we think and behave matters in the face of such events but it IS. Every reminder is a big help, and a support in knowing we are not alone in trying to live Love.

  55. Terrible, terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends. If only people in the world would realize that we are all Children Of God then we all would be a better place filled with love and compassion. It is so easy for people to get lost in different beliefs and find themselves in a place that isn’t suitable in God’s eyes but they can’t see. Today things have really gotten out of control and we need prayer like never before. It is through God that all people and all things can be fixed, not man. Who are we to judge another and decide what is best for this country or this world. I personally can relate to the hate. Be Blessed.

    1. Hi Corrie, yeah this was such a heart wrenching tragedy. You’re right-we need prayer now more than ever. I’m sorry that you can personally relate. We’ve got to remember that though the world can be cruel, God is still good and loves us. Sending big hugs my friend xox

  56. I pray that God’s love will be made evident in spite of all the evil that has been done. May God heal the broken hearted and mend yours, your cousins, and his friend’s families spirits as well as the people who did this senseless act of violence.

  57. I am sorry for the loss of your cousin’s friend. Hate is never an easy thing, but it seems for those in this world to inflict upon others. It is like a virus that spreads through the air. It is just so sad to hear when someone is senselessly killed. He was someone’s child. So very sad. I will be keeping his family and yours in my prayers.
    I owe you an apology. I think in a different post that I called you Ana. I apologize. Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Thank you for these kind words. You’re right, hate is a virus. And this innocent young man paid the price. So sad. And that’s okay, I only came out with my name a couple months ago:) no worries. Hugs and love xox

  58. Sorry for the loss of your cousin’s friend. I am constantly saddened by the hatred that made this happen. You are so correct when you say we are all children of God and we are called to be light and love.

  59. It does matter. Such a sad story. I hate that this happened. Prayers for his family and friends. We need to be the change.

  60. My condolences to your Cousin’s best friend and to his family. It breaks my heart to hear about senseless acts of violence like this. My prayers. Abrazos. 🙁

  61. I have to say, “Amen to that, Sister.” Because you are my sister. We are all God’s children. You shared your message beautifully and my heart hurts with yours for your personal loss and for the state of this world. Keep speaking the truth!

  62. What a wonderful, unselfish write, a gift to all of us to remind us:

    “And if each of us lights up our own little dusty corner of the world”

    Thank you.

  63. Yes, we are all Childs of the Infinite One Creator, created in his image and likeness. The Way of Christ is to love even our worst enemies. In other words: we should drop every concept of someone or something that evokes feelings of hatred or fear. It is time to go to the next level and transcend all that nonsense. We are a new Creation in Christ, based on love, grace and communion with the wholeness of creation. Muslims are certainly a part of it and we should respect and embrace the differences. There are differences between Islam and Christianity, but there are much similarities too. Just an example: the Qur’an describes the nature of God as the All-Merciful, AR-RAHMĀN (THE ALL-MERCIFUL). Let us pray for your cousins friend.

    ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us all, because we are sinners. We proclaim your name with our lips, but negate you with our stony hearts and our inner darkness. May you enlighten our Souls and guide us to the Way of light and goodness, make us to an mirror of your divinity. We are poor beggars before you. Please, make us to an instrument of thy peace and your infinite compassion. Give us your vision, in order to see in everyone a reflection of your presence, even the least, or maybe especially in them. Please, make us to a window for your kingdom, a channel for your melody, and transform us in the Body of Christ on earth.’

    Blessings to you,
    Mark

    1. Hi Mark, thank you so much for this perspective. You’re so right, we are to love everyone, no matter if they look differently, speak differently, believe differently, live ina culture that is different than our own. Thanks for the food for thought. Hugs and love xox

      1. Jesus of Nazareth/Yeshua leads to the Universal Truth of the Kingdom of Heaven beyond religion, in my opinion. If he says „I am the truth and the way and the life“ that doesn’t mean that all other ways are false and of minor value. This only means, that the Way of Christ is the highest expression of truth and all ways who are truthful lead ultimately to the Gospel as the highest point of culmination. There are indeed sparks of truth in islam, in buddhism, in hinduism, in judaism, in secular humanism and atheism. The problem is, that on the external level of religion, there is much separation, created by the human ego and its tendency toward fear, prejudices and conflict.

        But if we are brave enough to look to the heart of humanity, we can see common human intuitions of the divine, that we share with each other, there is a underlying oneness of humanity. I very appreciate the mystical dimension of islam. Ibn Arabi said: „My religion is love. Whichever the route love’s caravan shall take, that shall be the path of my faith“

        All spiritual traditions celebrate the wonder of being alive and affirm the nobility of the human soul. As Christians we are called to become „partakers of (or participants in) the divine nature“. Not against other religions, but beyond religion, and embracing the best of them all. We can share love, communion and solidarity with all of them. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. For the friend of your cousin: „Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul“(Matthew 10:28)

        Hugs in Christ :),
        Mark

      2. They can kill our body, but not our Soul, because it is a eternal part of the Infinite Spirit of God. It is simply out of their reach. With that in mind can we embrace the wholeness of life, joy as well as pain.

  64. Dear Sister:

    Blessed are those that mourn – for to mourn is to hold space in our hearts for goodness. Thank-you for sharing your memory of this young man with us. In an earlier era, it took a man like Jesus to denounce the prejudice against a Samaritan. I find it encouraging that today so many possess the courage to do the same.

    Brian

    1. Hey Brian, thanks for this. Yeah, it just breaks my heart that someone could be so cruel and lash out in such hate. You’re right-Jesus loved everyone, and so must we. Hugs and love xox

  65. People are sick. Really… They need to take a few lessons in anatomy and physiology. We are all made up of the same materials. Above all… A lesson in Christ’s word would show them we are all fearfully and wonderfully made!. My heart and prayers go out to that yoyng man’s friends and family.

    1. Thanks for this. Yeah it is just gut wrenching the injustice this young man went through. You’re right…let’s pray for all those left behind after this tragedy. Hugs and love xox

  66. Jesus wasn’t a pushover, though. He had some pretty harsh words for the scribes, pharisees, and a woman whom he likened to a dog. Maybe a Samaritan women, I’d have to check. And not to forget his causing a ruckus at the corrupted temple!

    My kinda guy. No b.s. with Jesus. 🙂

      1. I like John Eldredge’s take on the Samaritan woman at the well, and the woman he called a dog. In “Beautiful Outlaw” he point out that the response of the people He spoke to tells us how the comment was delivered. Maybe a wry grin, perhaps a twinkle in the eyes telling the person He spoke to that there was no malice in His words, rather an invitation to enter and be accepted – whoever they were.

        I strongly recommend the book. It changes how you see almost every interaction Jesus has, and shows Him as even less of a pushover!

  67. We live in rough times – yet that very fact is why we have the opportunity to grow strong through it, especially when we touch the transience of life, sharply through those we are connected to.
    My wife and I recently translated for the first time ever in English, the sacred poetry and verses of Hoja Ahmed Yassawi, a 10th century mystic Sufi founder. He saw these times coming and wrote us how to manage them ourselves and find the path to Love – to release us and by extension others through our example from such pain and sorrow to a higher calling of fellowship.

    I therefore dedicate some of his words to the young man as he travels on to a better place and a tranquility beyond comprehension:

    No mind can fathom the power of God,
    Nor is it known who orders either good or bad,
    I cannot bear to be muzzled amongst people,
    Where can I go, I am not sure.

    One is created proud, another Christian, another greedy,
    Another Muslim, another unbeliever and yet another Jew,
    From Heaven evil is evicted,
    For what reason, I am not sure.

    Many sins, heavier than mountains with even less patience,
    Nor committed to service, year on year life passed by,
    What gifts am I bringing if granted a place in Heaven,
    What sort of person am I, I am not sure.

    Those lovers rescinding their soul saw God,
    Those He made love Him from the start,
    In His mercy He sent them Love,
    If I arrive will I see His Face, I am not sure.

    http://www.diwanihikmet.com

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful reflection, Jonathan. You’re right- rough times indeed. We have to cling to God and His infinite goodness. Thanks for sharing this. Hugs and love xox

  68. All we can do is remember and try to be an example of our new commandment “love one another as I have loved you.” It doesn’t read, “love one another as long as they look, love, live, and pray like you do.” You cannot destroy hate with hate (that just makes more hate right, math wise anyway) you can only destroy it with love.

  69. Thank you for writing this. It is amazing. Unfortunately, it is inspired by a tragedy; My heart and prayers go out to the loved ones, may this young man rest in peace.

  70. I am sorry to hear about this occurrence. I don’t live in the States, I live in the “Down Under” (little wink) but this is certainly a horrible tragedy. May his soul rest in peace. I’ve always been abused as well given my gender orientation, religious views, political stance, my race…. Etc. People will always have a reason to hurt you because we are all judgemental creatures – capable of judging and placing judgement and bias on others. It truly is a shame. Take care, you!

      1. No problem, girl! And thank you for your kind words. I’m holding up better than before. I wish the same to you (and many blessings) xoxo Take careeee~~~

  71. This is a beautiful post and I thank you for bringing light into the darkness . I am so sorry to hear of such tragic news for this man at the hands of hate.
    Jesus loved. Why oh why can’t more just love. I am thankful for the ones who do.

  72. Thank you, Beauty, for this tragic but educational and loving post. It relates to a recent post of mine about early voting and working towards healing in our nation, which my pastor preached about on Sunday. With the Presidential election not going “my way,” there is the temptation to catastrophise and give up on our present and our future. But that is not what Jesus calls us to do. Instead we must act with love toward every single person.

    This post of yours shows that you are indeed a Beauty inside as well as out! 🙂

    1. Thank you Timi. Yes, such a tragedy. This young man did not deserve this senseless violence. Yes, let us all come together with love towards every single person. Hugs and love xox

  73. I work in Menomonie and used to live there. It’s a small college town. It’s hard to believe that something like this happened there. It breaks my heart. Thanks for sharing.

  74. Reblogged this on Echoes In The Ether and commented:
    Nice post. I totally agree with the author here: Each of us needs to be the light we want to see in the world. Do what you can – big or small, it doesn’t matter. If you can touch even one other soul, you’ve done your part.

  75. Ermmm as nice and emotional as this post is. I’ll like to point out a few things. Actually the world Jesus found himself in was actually a much worse world. They killed people too then, not just ordinary killing, they sometimes nailed them on a cross, beheaded some and others stoned till death. And Jesus himself said ‘marvel not when the world hate you for it hateth me too’ and we r not all children of God. The ones killing and living in disobedience to God can’t be from God. God doesn’t create evil. In him is light and there is no darkness at all. So all these evil people are from the devil. Nevertheless Let us shine as Light even in a world full of darkness. 😊

    1. Hi Mide! Thank you so much for this powerful perspective. You’re right, Jesus is the light. And we need to stay with our face turned towards that light. Some powerful food for thought here. Thanks again hugs

  76. I loved this post! It’s always so refreshing to see a blogger that believes in God and Jesus Christ and isnt afraid to speak on being a light in this world!! My heart is heavy for the people suffering in this world. I hope we all take the time to be the light and love this world needs!!
    -Nate

    P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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