Earlier this week, lifelong humanitarian, one-term U.S. President, and Sunday School teacher of decades Jimmy Carter spoke on the “turning point” at which we find ourselves:
“What is needed now, more than ever, is leadership that steers us away from fear and fosters greater confidence in the inherent goodness and ingenuity of humanity.”
The pain we witness in the world — up close, from a distance — threatens to overwhelm us: Multiple shooting victims in Orlando and elsewhere… refugees risking and losing all to escape violence and hardship in Syria and other failed or failing states… those who are targeted and traumatized by sexual predators… neighbors in our communities and country who feel disrespected and disenfranchised…
More than ever, God’s people are called to be a whatever people. NOT “whatever” as cynical dismissal but the Whatever’s the apostle of Jesus Christ lists in Philippians 4:8-9:
Whatever is TRUE,
Whatever is HONORABLE,
Whatever is JUST,
Whatever is PURE,
Whatever is PLEASING,
Whatever is COMMENDABLE,
if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, focus your hearts and minds on these things… and the God of peace will be with you.
In times of profound suffering and profane surroundings, we are a holy God’s active response and counter measure. More than ever, we can help one another to set our hearts and minds on the uplifting Whatever’s within us and all around us.