Hannah Beaven, 18

It was a damp and blustery 38 degrees outside. Nonetheless, I joined about 800 other people from the Evansville area to participate in a March for Our Lives event. By the end of our walk, my jeans were soaked and my hands numb. Yet I had no regrets; icy hands seemed insignificant in view of a much more serious problem—numbness to gun violence.

Every time we turn on the evening news, we are bombarded with hefty and intimidating problems—drug and alcohol abuse, disease, natural disasters, food and water crises, terrorism, tyranny, political tension, and war, just to name a few. In a world of demanding, devastating, and seemingly unsolvable problems, we can become desensitized to the suffering of others. Ignoring the issues is far easier than engaging in social action. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to serve. We are called to be peacemakers. We are called to speak for the silenced, feed the hungry, free the oppressed, heal the sick, and care for the orphaned. We are called to show compassion to a hurting world. This call can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we are not alone. Christ restores our ebbing strength and fuels us with love to extend to those in need.

Some of my friends have said that the march was an empty gesture with no capacity to initiate change. But if we are to answer God’s call to “do justice” (Micah 6:8, NRSV), we have to start somewhere. Inaction condones injustice. So volunteer. Learn about the issues. Start conversations with those you once might have overlooked. Protest, travel, vote, fund-raise—whatever you are able to do. We can extend God’s love and mercy to a hurting world. Jesus demonstrated through his ministry that peacemaking sometimes can be divisive. He also showed us that nothing is impossible with God. I took an opportunity to speak up about gun violence. How will you answer the call to love?



Imagine Jesus speaking these words:

“The Lord’s Spirit has come to me,
because he has chosen me
to tell the good news to the poor.
The Lord has sent me
to announce freedom for prisoners,
to give sight to the blind,
to free everyone who suffers,
and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.’”
(Luke 4:18-19, CEV)

If you were to follow Jesus in this mission, what would you be doing?

PRAY: Jesus, break our hearts for your people and help us to answer the call to love a hurting world. Amen.

Hannah Beaven, 18 , is a student who loves swimming, reading, and playing piano. Her favorite place to spend time with God is in a tree, particularly the large oak in her front yard.

—from devozine (July/August 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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