Lots of talk of violence lately — and maybe not from the source I would expect (i.e. media) but from church. No, no, nothing majorally violent has happened there … Just discussions about violence in general. All of this talk of violence raises a lot of questions. Questions with no answers or very complicated answers.
In bible study, we discussed violence for a couple of weeks in a row. One of the questions asked was how does one promote peace in a world bombarded with violence? (that is a major paraphrase, btw) What a great question. I’m especially thinking of kids here. How do we teach peace and reconciliation in a world where they are constantly being attacked with violent images everywhere they turn?
We chatted with the middle-schoolers about violence and peace as well. What was astonishing to me, was this conversation … even more than the adult conversation. We let them lead the discussion for a good portion of the time … and not ONE of them. Not one. Not even one of those youth said they thought peace in the world was realistic. It was so disheartening for me.
I was hoping that they would have hope. I need them to have hope. I need them to have hope for themselves and for me and for the world. Perhaps that’s a lot to put on the plate of a 7th-grader … but I need that.
So the questions come … how do we offer that hope and make it tangible? How can we give this generation (of which, I’m actually a part of) hope for the future?
I realize that a perfect world isn’t going to happen overnight. Maybe it starts with peace in our own worlds. In our middle-schoolers’ worlds. Start small and get bigger. Peaceful thoughts and peaceful beings. Perhaps that can shed some light in our darkness.
I still hope.
I hope they will, too.