what are you thoughts, prayers, and #goodvibes really doing?

We live in a world of hate. It is sad but true. We see it in the media every day. Terrorist attacks, racism, bullying, mass shootings… the list could go on. We keep these hateful acts “in our prayers,” while going about our busy day. When we see people trying to actually do something about it, we call them extremists. We argue with them, we boycott them, we roll our eyes at them and say, “Come on, nothing’s really going to change.” That last part is our little secret, though, because if you look on our social media page, we just posted about keeping the victims of the world’s hate “in our thoughts and prayers.” We’re “sending good vibes to those affected.” We continue on with our lives, our families and friends, doing nothing different but hoping and praying we don’t see the evil effects of the world in our little bubble.

How about we just get really, really real for a second, okay? Over 600 people’s little bubbles were completely shattered yesterday. Add their loved ones to that list and you are well into the thousands. How did this happen? I mean, we’ve been thinking, praying, and sending good vibes since our last mass shooting, but has anything actually changed? If we continue to do the same thing, aka nothing, will anything ever change?

I don’t know what the answer is; I don’t know how to make this stop. We can keep debating amendments and civil rights issues. We can keep thinking and whispering quickly to God to change people’s hearts and stop the violence. Then, we can keep going about our lives and try not to think about the very fact that there is no guarantee that the next time won’t be in our community, in our family, in our little bubble. But it will happen again.

Evil exists in the world, and people who operate in that will find a way whether laws change or not. Its more than the laws, the government, the views that need to change. It starts with us, the “Common American.” It starts with us going beyond thoughts, beyond prayer, beyond good vibes and actually starting to love one another.

How can one person change the world? By changing the world of another person. I’m not saying loving all people will always miraculously change the hearts of evil men and women, but when we unite in love with our fellow Americans, we can work together to find a real solution. The solution doesn’t begin with arguing on Facebook about why the NFL players are wrong. It doesn’t begin with making negative comments about the already negative President. It doesn’t begin with “take the guns” or “keep the guns.” Of course we have the freedom to debate and disagree, but when this consumes us and our conversations, we lose the ability to reach people and love people where they are. We miss out on the bigger picture. We need to stand together against the evils of the world with people we agree with, but also arm in arm with people who don’t think the same way that we do. When we all come together with a goal surrounded with love, things will change.

So what can we do right here, right now?

We can keep praying. Prayer can be so, so powerful because it connects us with the Creator of the Universe, the One who never leaves us, the One who promises to work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

We can stop “thinking.” Stop making social media posts that you’re “thinking” of the victims of the tragedy. What does that do, help, or change? Start doing. Start doing everything in love. Think of the changes you need to make in your own life, in your own mind, and actually start acting on those.

Stop thinking. Start doing. And always keep praying.

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