‘Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5). We need to hang on to this truth in a world where we see all too often the devastation of terrorist attacks abroad and at home. These senseless murders shock us when we hear about them on the news and we know they are happening unreported in many countries across the world. We often don’t know the people who are behind these despicable acts. We don’t always know if it is one person or many, and we don’t always know what they want. All I do know for certain is that they were not born wanting to do this.
Nelson Mandela once wrote that,
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
As a man who, in just over a week, will be holding his newborn daughter in his arms, I worry about what my words, my actions and my behaviours will teach her. What things will she grow to hate and what will she learn to love?
There is evil in the world. There always will be and we can’t do anything about that. But Romans 12:21 tells us, ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ Now, we can do something about that!
When we see evil in our world, when we suffer loss, when we see those in our community who are lonely, hurting, or lost, our message must be an overwhelming message of love. Jesus teaches us that the two most important things we can do are to love God and to love others. We certainly teach that message at Cedars and try to expose our students to the many ways that they can show love in a practical way with a bigger picture of overcoming evil with good.
I want that environment for my children and for yours. I want a school that teaches our students what it means to love others. I want a school that supports what I am teaching my children at home. To not hate, but to love.
Studies have shown that graduates from Christian schools leave with a greater sense of understanding the needs in their communities. They are more likely to volunteer and they are more highly represented in the human service industries like health and education.
I see the teachers at Cedars quietly going about teaching their students to care for each other, to do good and to love.
Last weekend our student leaders hosted a conference at Cedars called ‘Unite.’ This event was entirely planned and led by our students. They invited young people from other schools and youth groups to come and hear about being united under God, learn more about Him, hear how to love others and represent Him well on this earth.
I take great joy in seeing the life lessons our students have been taught at home, at school and at church forming in them a desire to do good in this world.
Of course, unfortunately, the opposite is also true. We see the result of a different environment, different circumstances and different life lessons when we see abhorrent acts of terrorism in our world. However, like we saw at the Manchester benefit concert this week it was love that brought people together, not hate, and in the midst of that concert Justin Bieber reminded everyone in a teary-eyed message that ‘God is good in the midst of evil.’
So what do we do?
We think of and pray for the families and the communities that have suffered great loss through hate. We continue to teach an overwhelming message of love to our students and to our children and we hold on to the scripture and believe that ‘joy comes in the morning.’