Category Archives: Fall 2016

Decompression: Thoughts on Homesickness

By Pedro Enamorado, Class of ’17

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Isaiah 43:2 (KJV)

We weren’t designed to live under water. We have no gills or fins, and most of us have a measly lung capacity. And yet, so many love it. It calls to us, and we dream of shorelines and waterfalls and streams of rushing water. If we are serious, however, in wanting to experience the waters in the fullest sense, we must dive into them. Bright pink coral, sweetly orange and pink fish, all surrounded by shades of blue-green waters, await adventurous humans who enter that world. The deeper one goes, the more pressure pushes against one’s body. The diver forgets the world above, breathing into his mask and letting wonder overtake the senses. But it cannot last forever, and the deeper one goes, the more likely one will need to make decompression stops to make sure nitrogen does not enter the body and cause serious damage. There is a cost to traveling between the worlds, and we cannot forget that time and change require processing.

Being home from Yale is wonderful, but it’s also painful. The three-hour flight to Miami is surreal and odd—I am going to a different world. There is no steady transition to ease me back into this new variation of my old life. Variation, that is, because I no longer have my old room, I do not think the same ways, and my house has changed in furniture, colors, and in number of bedrooms. The home I left behind could not be forever. And anxiety and restlessness interrupt moments of peace and joy while I try to be present. In the middle of a funny Spanish soap opera, as I rest on my mom’s shoulder with my dad and brother on the same couch, my mind will snap back to Yale. I get homesick and sick of home simultaneously when I realize that my life will change forever. I will not see my dearest friends regularly once I walk down the aisle and take my diploma. I will not see the little brothers that I mentor and teach at Trinity Baptist’s youth group. I will not sing with my a cappella group Living Water, or worship at YFA’s weekly meetings. Yale is not forever, and I must accept that that is also good.

But I am still home as both a guest and a son. I kiss my aunt and grandpa good morning, and I wake up to my two-year old cousin’s giggles. I hear Spanish every day and drink coffee and eat flour tortillas, and I return to a church where people shout hallelujah and faint with religious affection. These are familiar things that haven’t changed since I came to Yale. But the pressures of Yale that I leave behind are also worth considering. The buzz of satisfaction while working that turns into the odd gnawing in my psyche when I have idle hands. Accidentally skipping lunch because of paper writing or meetings, and the need to be present in and out of time are gone when I’m home. Finally, there is the subtle, dark grey fog of coming to terms with imperfection, of being inadequate, of wanting to do more and be more, and of falling in love with my rhythms and achievements. Where is God in our hearts when the nitrogen of self-reliance creeps to poison? Where is the Cross when we try to atone for our errors and earn praise from ourselves and others? Christ’s merits are forgotten in that daze, under the push and pull of those waters we face, and we take for granted His permanence. There is danger in the beauty of this place.

This May, I will leave behind Yale’s blue ocean. I will return to it only as a guest and never again be immersed in the undergraduate experience as I was these past few years. I never got better at decompressing when I got home, and I imagine I’ll be there for at least a summer before I settle into a new job. But God has made it clear to me that He alone will stay the same when everything passes away. My parent’s home will never be mine again the way it was pre-Yale. Yale and New Haven will never be home again as it was pre-graduation. The pangs of longing and homesickness will not go away because I was baptized into a new life and nothing else can truly be life or home. Nothing, save the sublime and satisfying goodness of God’s steady hand. I am known; I am loved; I am appreciated in Christ. I can cast off my vain striving and be free from fear of uncertainty and disappointment. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

An Unfavorable Government: Lessons from Daniel

By Joshua Jeon

The morning of November 9th will be an important one for the nation. Of course, November 8th is election day: the culmination of months of speeches, debates, caucuses, primaries, and conventions; an end to a bitterly long and grueling election cycle; and the final choice by American voters on the next POTUS. All that aside, however, I think that November 9th, too, carries special significance as it marks the beginning of how the American people come to terms with their to-be-president. Although inauguration is months away, the day-after marks the beginning of the nation’s response to its decision. It is the beginning of a people’s relationship with a new president, a new government. How the people respond in these “first impression” stages is vitally important to the next four years.

Given the great unfavorability of this election’s presidential candidates, it will be of no surprise — to much dismay, if there is considerably strong reaction amongst those who disapprove of the decision, amongst those who voted for the losing candidate, and even amongst those who did not vote but are greatly concerned. For these Americans the results of the election will be difficult to swallow. They may express sorrow, be full of angst and uncertainty, or exhibit bitterness and anger. They may eventually accept the new government but may become apathetic and abandon participation in the democratic process. Some of them may respond with marked antagonism. They may try to arbitrarily obstruct the process of the new government. They may attempt to create further division and evoke distrust through conspiracy and slander. They may scoff when things go bad.

Given these concerns about the fate of American civic life in the aftermath of election day, the appropriate question is “How should one behave under an unfavorable government?” How should one conduct himself under a government that he did not choose and may even hate? I believe that the Bible provides insight into this question. Specifically, the biblical figure Daniel demonstrates that Christians should be good citizens despite “bad” government because trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God.

Daniel provides perhaps the best example on how to live under unfavorable government. Daniel lived during the Babylonian Captivity, a period of Jewish exile following the conquering of Jerusalem in 597 BC by the Babylonians. As a member of the nobility, Daniel was deported to Babylon, taught the language and literature of the Babylonians and trained to serve the King. In many ways the situation is an imperfect comparison because the Babylonian government is much worse than anything that can result from this election. Yet even so, Daniel’s attitude and behavior merits our attention.

Daniel, despite the unfavorability of his situation, faithfully fulfills his duties with regard to his government. He serves the King, Nebuchadnezzer, and then Darius the Mede, with excellence. In Daniel 6, his qualities are further embellished. Daniel “so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities”; there could be found no “grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs”; “He was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”[1] Thusly, Daniel is entrusted with positions of power and rises to prominence within the government.

But how was Daniel able to conduct himself in such a manner? He was taken from his home and subjected to the rule of a foreign government that did not respect his culture or his people. Daniel could have rebelled as did the kings of Judah, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, yet he served the King. Daniel was able to conduct himself in a manner of good citizenship because of the profound trust he had in sovereignty and goodness of God.

When Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s,”[2] he recognized the authority of Caesar, the Roman government. Particularly, in response to the question he was asked, Jesus affirmed its authority to collect taxes. In the second part of his response, though, Jesus also affirms the authority of God that far surpasses that of Caesar.

As Jesus points to the denarius, whose likeness and subscription is that of Caesar’s, noting it’s ownership, and uses it to explain Caesar’s right, he draws the parallel to creation. Since God created all things; his signature is all over creation; his image is in every human being; he is the owner of all things and deserves and has the right to all things. All authority is his. All obedience is to him. He is ruler over all. Therefore, any obedience and conduct toward Caesar or any other early power should be done with such wondrous sovereignty in mind. Similarly 1 Peter reads, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by him.”[3] In the context of this verse, obedience to governmental rule comes from the recognition that the human institution of government is allowed and vested power by God. Furthermore, the believer is to properly fulfill his role as a citizen “for the Lord’s sake” by exercising the freedoms he has in the Gospel to be a good example, to love his fellow citizens, and to honor and glorify God. As such, the believer’s whole relationship to government is governed by his relation to God’s governance.

The sovereignty of God provides good reason for good citizenship. Because God is the ruler of all things, has ordained the institution of government, and has commanded good conduct, the believer ought to demonstrate good citizenship. However, mere knowledge of the sovereignty of God will lead to joyless conduct. Yes, the believer may display proper conduct but under an unfavorable government he is bound to witness great injustice when evil is left unpunished, people are oppressed, and when wrongs are said to be right. Under these conditions, would he not be led to despair and hopelessness? Hence, it is important to know of and trust in God’s goodness in addition to his sovereignty. Because God is good and sovereign, his allowance of such government is not arbitrary but has purpose. Because God is good and sovereign, he can change government for good; he can deliver and rescue his people. And because God is good and sovereign, he will one day judge those who commit injustice and ultimately bring his justice. It is in this God the believer trusts and is able to conduct himself righteously. Knowing that he is a citizen of a higher Kingdom, he is then able to be a good citizen.

Given his trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God, Daniel was able to conduct himself in a worthy manner. Daniel was able to be a good servant to the King but since he knew that he was subject before God first, he sometimes disobeyed the King. Daniel rejected King Nebuchadnezzer’s food that would defile him before God and became vegetarian.[4] He disobeyed King Darius’ decree prohibiting prayer to anyone besides the King and continued to pray to God. He was then famously thrown in the lion’s den. In these situations, God protected Daniel and following these situations, God used Daniel for greater purposes. Through Daniel and his obedience to Him, God brought about change.[5] Daniel’s story shows that it is not by earthly might or means (our strength) that government will change but by the power of God.[6] It is God who induces Nebuchadnezzer’s insanity. It is God who strikes down his son Belshazzar. And it is God who crushes kingdoms and puts them to an end. Whether kings or kingdoms, God has ultimate authority.

Therefore, in following Daniel’s example, those who know God are to be good citizens. To be good citizens has double meaning. Believers ought to be faithful citizens to the Kingdom of Heaven and good citizens of whatever earthly government they are under. Practically, this may entail, to name a few, obeying laws, paying taxes, and voting.

It is my hope that whatever the outcome of this election may be, whatever new president and administration is in power, whatever government that comes about, no matter how unfavorable it may be, that people would demonstrate good behavior for it is God who has ultimate authority and “in God we trust.”

“His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”[7]

[1] Daniel 6:3,4 (ESV)
[2] Matthew 22:21 (KJV)
[3] 1 Peter 2:13-14 (ESV)
[4] Daniel 1:8
[5] One example: Following Daniel’s obedience to not defile himself, God increases his knowledge and understanding, and gives him the ability to interpret dreams. God uses Daniel and his ability to interpret dreams to humble Nebuchadnezzar. See Daniel 2 & 4. In fact, Daniel is used to humble various kings, to strike down their pride, and to teach them to fear God. Also, God uses Daniel to give hope of a coming time when God will establish his Kingdom which will reign forever and ever. See Daniel’s various visions.
[6] While trusting God, the person should do everything within his means to positively affect government. If you advise the king as Daniel did, give him wise advice. If you are a voter in a democracy, vote thoughtfully… etc.
[7]Daniel 4:34-35 (ESV)

Taken from Claritas, Cornell University’s Journal of Christian Thought, part of a “student-led movement of Christian journals on college campuses” called the Augustine Collective

Click here to read more from Claritas.

To the One Who Not Only Speaks, But Listens

Part 1 of a prayer series…

You and I worship a God who crafted the earth by simply speaking things into being, and planted entire planets in the universe, and sculpted the earth with mountains and valleys, and painted the sky with colors we can only dare to imitate. But I’ve always loved how beautifully David captures the intimacy of God. He wonders:

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8, ESV)

This psalm has always struck me as one of the most beautiful psalms in the Bible. David begins and ends this hymn by marveling at God’s majesty, and he praises God for His power and greatness. But David also realizes the closeness of God. We worship a God who cares so deeply for us that He knew our names before we were even born. His love is so strong that He sent His own son here on earth to die for our sins.

And in caring for us, He also listens. He hears our cries and our voices. He is the Creator of the universe, yet He is our friend. Prayer is simply a conversation with a friend, yet it is before the King of all kings.

How, then, can we find it boring? Trivial? May we find prayer to be humbling and transforming, and anything but boring or trivial. Kneeling before His throne, may we not ramble useless words that have no meaning, but may we prepare ourselves to give Him our hearts, the very inner core of our beings.

Friends, take a moment to sit in silence and think about this. He who spoke the world into being, He who spoke all creatures into life, He who spoke light, darkness, and color… He bows his ear to hear us speak. What an honor, privilege, and blessing that is.

 

Armored in Light

By Anna Heckler, Class of ’18

When I was in kindergarten, I would joke with my dad about the gun under his bed. Can I get a gun license someday, Dad? I pleaded with him. When can I go deer hunting with you? By the time I was about ten, my eagerness to join the world of gun-holders began to falter. At age twelve, it was my father’s turn to joke with me. So when can we get your junior hunting license? He prodded. When can I teach you how to shoot?

It took me a while to recognize the implications attached to the firearm under my father’s bed. But even once I’d graduated beyond infantile curiosity, the concept of gun ownership was a fact that I accommodated quite easily into my life. I can’t say I’ve been much more intellectually critical of my family’s culture of gun use since I left home either. In a city that bleeds Yale blue in everything from its sports to its politics, thoughts of recreational gun-use seem out of place. My church lights incense and serves its home-baked Eucharist bread with gluten-free wafers; I hear a lot more about unconditional love than about the latest Cabela’s gear.

That’s why, when my church invited pro-life Evangelical Reverend Rob Schenck and African-American anti-gun activist Lucy McBath to our campus, I stayed relatively quiet. The event, titled “God & Guns,” would include a screening of the Armor of Light documentary, featuring Schenck and Mcbath as they promoted anti-gun dialogue in religious communities. I reluctantly agreed to attend, hoping my fear of self-contradiction would dissolve with time.

But on the day of the screening, I sat down in Battell Chapel feeling something like a traitor. So I folded my hands, bowed my head, and started to pray. I asked God to show me His patience and composure; I asked Him to let me sit easy, to open my ears. And then I took a deep breath and I listened.

Schenck and Lucy’s story begins in November of 2012 with Lucy’s son, Jordan Davis. One evening that fall, seventeen-year-old Davis and his three friends parked his SUV at a local gas station, listening to music. A few moments later, forty-seven-year-old white Michael Dunn confronted Davis, complaining that the boy’s music was too loud. In the ensuing engagement, Dunn drew a gun and fired into Davis’s SUV ten times. One of the bullets pierced upwards through Davis’s torso, rupturing his aorta and searing through his upper chest. Davis died within hours.

In the wake of the Treyvon Martin case, Dunn’s trial received national attention. Dunn was ultimately convicted of one first-degree and three attempted murder convictions and was sentenced to life imprisonment. But the path to that decision was considerably rockier. Dunn’s lawyer cited Florida’s stand-your-ground law and argued that his client’s shots were fired in self-defense. It took two trials for the jury to reach a verdict on the first-degree murder charge for Davis’s death.

Furthermore, Dunn may not have been found guilty if he had simply remained in his car, firing only while Davis’s SUV was in close proximity.[1] Even Dunn’s gun ownership was a quirk of Florida’s handgun-handling-proficiency laws: Florida, along with some other states, only requires applicants to fire a single, pre-loaded training shot to receive their permit.[2],[3] Dunn didn’t need God’s love and protection—it was too easy for him to shroud his fears behind the pro-gun and racist biases encoded in the law.

Reverend Schenck and Lucy followed the Armor of Light screening with a question-and-answer session. Their conversation echoed my own impish back-and-forth with my father at age six, but at that moment in Battell Chapel, surrounded by the street-sounds and sirens of New Haven, the questions seemed much more solemn. Why do we own guns? Schenck and Lucy challenged. What does The Bible have to say about gun ownership? Can the discussion on faith and gun violence be incorporated into racially-charged movements like Black Lives Matter?

The answers, they suggested, can be found in reflection on each of our relationships with God and in Scripture.

We must realize that, though God’s love for us is not contingent on much, it does require that we trust in Him. “There is no fear in love,” John tells us, “But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Gun ownership implies a fear of others; the rifle under the bed is a safety net in case God’s protection isn’t enough. If we know God, we know that He is enough to shield us—whether it be from loneliness, from oppression, or from teenagers and loud music. With Him, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the words of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

Though the very thought of Davis’s death fills me with a will to fight, I still haven’t reconciled my history with the discourse on gun ownership. But Jordan, Lucy, and Reverend Schenck’s mission helps me recognize that, as a Christian, I have a responsibility to question the presence of the gun under my father’s bed. I have a mission to challenge places where legal and social systems encode fear of the Other. Now is the time to destabilize the culture of gun ownership; it is time to turn to those on both sides of the gun, to don our Armor of Light, and to listen.


[1] Online Sunshine. The 2016 Florida Statutes, 776: Justifiable Use of Force.

[2] Online Sunshine. The 2016 Florida Statutes, 790.06: Weapons and Firearms.

[3] Wikipedia.org. Concealed Carry in the United States.

A Reflection: Just a Closer Walk with Thee

By Pedro Enamorado ES Class of ’17

I am weak but Thou art strong
Jesus keep me from all wrong
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

My heart melts with the beauty of this confession. I, a creature of clay and breath, can lean on the Lord of Glory. It makes me pause. It makes me sigh tenderly in delight. What is it like to stand on an immovable rock while the earth around you trembles? I am small and frail. And while the seas rage and the winds blow, and the world crumbles into itself, I stand unshaken on the Rock. Greater is my Lord’s healing comfort than those of my mother’s arm when I knew that her love would ease my fevers. And as my father’s prayers cast away my terrors in the night, His intercession pours courage into my trembling bones. Great is His strength.

How can we stray from such a Friend? Can we walk so far from the Lover of our souls? Yet, He is not like us. If we walk away, He will follow us and overcome us with His jealous love. And to resist His love is futile. Let us speak! He inclines His ear toward us so let us beg that we may walk near to Him. He will not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Our affections He shall tame, and our restless hearts will find sweet repose in Him. His tender heart is open to us, and a fountain of life springs from His side. Let us cherish His gift! Let us wash in His living water!

Oh, God, keep us far from the ways of the lawless.

The darkness of this world will not overcome me, and its coldness shall not harden my heart- I walk with Him. I treasure the warmth of my Savior’s love and His mercies know no bounds. These are my satisfaction. His Spirit chisels at my broken heart, and without violence or torment, He exposes a heart of flesh underneath.

Let us walk close to Thee, dearest Jesus. May we take your nail-pierced hand and walk with you till the sun goes down on the number of our days. Lead us to our eternal home.

Do Emotions Distort Knowledge? Pt. 2

Read Part 1 here.

By He Li, Class of ’17

This danger of distortion, however, is only present when emotions sway the receptive mind during the reception of an idea. If the listener does not heed to such temperaments during the receptive process, then he is at no risk of obtaining distorted knowledge. The active and receptive intellects necessarily correspond with each other when they are free from emotion. The intellect is in fact the only receptive faculty used in human communication. Emotional faculties do not receive emotions; they respond to input received by the intellect by producing emotions. Both emotions and intellectual ideas are received by the intellect. Stephen’s executioners were not blind to the saint’s temperamental communication only because their emotional faculties were impaired by rage-their rage actually rendered a part of their intellect unreceptive, namely the one that receives emotions. When an intellect receives both emotion and intellectual ideas during communication, the listener is able to grasp the full essence of the speaker’s message. If the receptive process remains free from emotive distortion, then emotions produced in the listener after the receptive process do not enable the distortion of knowledge. This is so because they are informed by the complete intellectual-emotive idea conveyed by the speaker.

If we read the words of Christ in the Gospels with preexisting sentiments of enmity and scoffing, we will never be able to perceive the full depths of His precepts, and our rejection of the message is therefore grounded in ignorance rather than impiety in full conscience. If the same feelings arise after we receive these verses in an undistorted manner though, then our hearts are spurning the spiritual beauty of God even after understanding both its intellectual and emotive aspects. Perhaps this is why it is said: “…whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” [Matthew 12:31-32 ESV] Words spoken against the Son of Man are only directed against the the intellectual aspects of the Messiah’s teachings-the workings of his moral rationale and his claims to the Sonship. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, works within the heart of the listener to create divine feelings of joy and certainty that affirm Christ’s words. These otherworldly sensations guide us to notions of supernal existence and eternity, providing us with a firm foundation on which we are able to set our faith. To speak any words against this very experience of God, then, renders us liable to damnation without forgiveness.

I have previously mentioned that the emotions of a human speaker and listener do not necessarily correspond with each other. This is not the case if God is the speaker. God is sovereign over all things, and he certainly holds dominion over our feelings. If he wills to communicate with us, he will ensure that our emotional condition during the receptive process allows us to receive his missive in the most complete and most arresting manner. When the receptive intellect is influenced by preexisting emotions that do not correspond with the active intellect, then our perception of the emotions of the speaker is weakened. But when the receptive intellect is influenced by preexisting emotions that do correspond with the active intellect, we receive the speaker’s message in a manner that is all the more striking. A receptive intellect subject to preexisting emotions aligned with the emotions that active intellect intends to convey is able to receive the communication in a more compelling manner than a receptive mind not influenced by any emotion at all. Thus, God may stir us up in spiritual ecstasy before we meditate on the Beatitudes when He wishes to positively reinforce our faith, or he may humble us with dejection so that we may wholeheartedly receive His message of admonition as we read about the coming tribulation. How, then, is it possible for anybody to receive His word with “preexisting sentiments of enmity and scoffing?” I answer that it is because God wills precisely so for some; it has been said that “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” [Matthew 13:12 ESV]

Imago Dei

By Grace Niewijk CC, Class of ’18

When Jesus was on earth, he spent time with those whom society ignored and considered worthless. Prostitutes, lepers, widows and orphans; sinners, the sick, and the small from every walk of life. He looked at the least of these, called them worthy, and told them that he had come for their sakes.
Who do you think Jesus would spend time with if he came to earth today?
Maybe Jesus would come to sit and grieve with the families and partners of the people who died in the Orlando shooting. Maybe he would empower women of color who fight for social justice even in the face of fierce discrimination. Maybe he would tell black men and boys who fear for their lives that God intends better for them, that he wants to give them so much more than what the world seems to offer. Maybe he would weep with citizens of Baghdad who received so few condolences from the rest of the world after an attack that took hundreds of lives. Our world is bursting at the seams with tired, weary, hurting children of God, and Jesus would not turn his back on their anguish.
How does God call us to confront injustice? How does God call us to act differently in light of our faith?

I find Romans 12:9-21 particularly helpful when trying to figure out how to respond to the brokenness I see in the world, in people around me, and in myself. Paul writes:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written,

‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’

To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God is not satisfied with silence in the face of tragedy, hatred, and evil. Too often, silence in the face of injustice is equivalent to passive acceptance. In this scripture, God tells us clearly what we should do: instead of silence, we are called to patience, love, honor, zeal, hospitality, and rejoicing. We are called to be constant in prayer, to bless those who persecute us, to weep with those who are weeping, and to overcome evil with good.
Even when we are not directly affected by adversity or strife, we are still called to stand alongside our brothers and sisters, our enemies and our friends. Imago dei: all are made in the image of God. Knowing this, how can we not strive to see and love others the way God does?

Our God´s very being is justice. In his declaration “Vengeance is mine,” we have assurance that he will see justice done. Jesus didn’t just heal the sick and weep with those who mourned; he also flipped tables in the faces of those who desecrated the temple, called out hypocrites in public, and exhorted countless people to turn from lives of sin. Jesus showed a wide range of emotions in response to the things of this world, but the one reaction he never displayed was apathy. We are the body of Christ. We are his church. When one part of the body is hurting, no other part should be indifferent. I’ve had to repent over and over recently for not caring about others’ pain the way Jesus would. Let us all be challenged to look and see those around us, to try to learn what their struggles are, and do our best to show Christ-like love – even in the face of injustice we don’t understand or tragedy that doesn’t directly affect us.