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home : columnists : columnists October 22, 2017


10/7/2017
Action of the words is where healing begins

By Teri Ditslear
Joy in the Journey


"There is more good in the world than bad." These are the words, spoken by Ellen DeGeneres, which have been ruminating in my mind all week long. Of course, as a pastor scripture verses such as: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4, have offered me other reminders that God is with us, and will never ever leave us, no matter how bad things get, no matter if our faith wavers and wanders.

What we believe affects how we sort out our feelings about the state of our nation and our world. While these words can be comforting in the reminding, it is in the action of these words that we really begin the work of healing, and the journey to trusting and eventually the life of joy. I was afraid to click the button on "Ellen's response to the massacre at Las Vegas." I did not need to relive the story and the visual images that the networks have been broadcasting non stop. It has felt like an assault on my soul, even though Monday morning I could not tear myself away from the reality that evil does indeed exist and that sometimes it invades the body of a human. However, I took the chance to listen to Ellen, my theologian of choice in the middle of the night when sleep was elusive. "There is more good in the world than bad." OK, I thought, maybe we need proof. As if reading the minds of millions of viewers, she proceeded to show a video clip of every day silent hero's that largely go unnoticed. Teachers, principles of schools, people who feed the hungry, children who have disabilities overcoming obstacles, and on and on for over 6 minutes, just a snapshot of good people doing good. By the time the clip was over, I found myself overcome with tears of both grief and joy.

Suddenly, the scripture verses that seemed contrite and dry became once again something I could believe in and trust. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. This passage becomes real and active, when we are reminded of first responders, people running back to help at the scene of the massacre, stories of people who covered the body of a stranger sacrificing their own self for the sake of another. God is this kind of strength. God is this very refuge in our times of tribulation. In this world, Jesus says there will be trouble, but in the end, God will overcome the world. Love will rule, in fact, love does rule.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we are called to be the comforters, the peacemakers, the ones who make the scriptures come alive. When we see trouble, we are the ones to bring hope to the hopeless. Jesus is the hope of the world we have the opportunity to let people witness the living Christ through our actions, in turn being the hope-bearers. Thank you to all of you who bring hope into the world, you are a blessing. Giving thanks to God.

Noblesville's Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at pastor@rolcommunity.com, on Facebook or at www.rolcommunity.com





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