Dear Terrorists,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the world has angered you in more ways than I can imagine. Sometimes it’s hard to see any good when people are frustrating, acting in ways or expressing views you disagree with. I understand that there are many frustrations in the world.

Your life is valuable and you matter. But so does everyone else. I wish you could understand that.

I also know you might feel ostracized from the rest of the world. But you are still a human and the God I believe in still seeks you out and invites you to be his ‘beloved.’ I’m sorry if some people lose sight of your humanity amidst their anger. However, they have reason to be angry and I’m saddened that you are apathetic about the pain you are causing others, and ultimately, yourself. I may not know all your motives (and maybe they make perfect sense to you), but know that I think you’ve lost sight of others’ humanity too. Remembering each other’s humanness is what will solve our issues as the human race.

Would eliminating everyone with different viewpoints really be effective? You would become very lonely, grow restless and still not be satisfied at the end of the day. If you learned how to communicate more effectively face-to-face with others that would help heaps more. Talk to others about why you hold such a strong opinion and why you think they would benefit from acquiring your viewpoint. People would fully hear out your argument that way and you could potentially gain supporters. Whereas, if you killed everyone who disagreed with you sadness, anger and emptiness within yourself all increase. Argue with words, not weapons.

The other day one of you committed an act of terrorism at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. This was not only tragic because of the lives lost, but because it was at a concert of all places. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you all appreciate some music; every human loves music. The thing about music is that it shows people they are not alone, it provides community regardless of political or spiritual views, and it connects people from all parts of the world. This empathetic art is something we can all agree upon and appreciate—it has been part of societal rituals like weddings and funerals, provided a great stress reliever to all who seek it, and communicated messages our hearts cannot put into words.

As an avid concert-goer myself, this act broke my heart because I know that people wait weeks, months and even a year in advance for concerts. Precious money is saved up for a night of bliss when everyone can sing in harmony in one room to musicians that have cheered them up on gloomy days or even saved their lives. Hundreds and even thousands of people waited in excited anticipation for that concert just to end up dead, hospitalized or traumatized for life. That was the last place they ever expected to die. Concerts are safe havens for so many. Does that really not register any emotions within you? I hate that you’re plagued by apathy.

I hope you have all been moved by music at some point in your life; those are beautifully indescribable moments. If you haven’t, I hope you do soon. Music is a timeless beauty that comes in all shapes and forms.

It is never too late to communicate your feelings in a more productive way. I hope you understand the weight and sadness of your actions someday. I hope you start feeling sympathy for people with different viewpoints someday.

You are still human and I will always treat you as such. I’m upset you have such discontentment in your heart and I’m sorry fulfillment has not flooded into your life. I will pray that you find peace in peace someday.

Sincerely,

A Woman who Loves Music and People

Perspective and Remembrance

I was so excited for this brief Thanksgiving break for many reasons. Mostly because it would be a break from homework and stress… I got all of my homework done except for handing out surveys for  my statistics project. I thought it would be easy. But much to my dismay, I sat in Biggby on November 25th, trying to get strangers to read three papers and fill out a survey and I succeeded only two times. I knew it was a lot to ask and I wasn’t very hopeful–when my doubts were confirmed, I came home and cried.

Yes, I was frustrated over the project, but more than that I was upset over the fact that even a small amount of work created stress. I was frustrated because I realized we never truly get ‘a break.’ Not in this world.

This has been the busiest semester of school by far, not to mention the fact that it has included my least favorite class of all time: statistics. (How did you guess?!) It has really made me stop and think. It has pushed me to my emotional limits. I went two weeks with headaches. My hypochondria tried to tell me I was dying, but reflecting on it, I’m pretty sure they were all stress headaches. This world is going to kill me. It just asks for more and more and more until I’m too tired to give any more.

I take a glance at my workload, jobs, what I’m trying to do with my life, relationships with people… but man, I don’t know how I’d survive everything without the hope of Jesus. When I get caught up in these trivial things the car of my life speeds into the ditch and I question how I landed there, only to find God standing on the highway saying ‘why didn’t you listen to me?‘ Time and time again I see the storm when I try to control my life and give in to the demands of the world. Yet I walk towards the storm countless times anyway.

We as people are so forgetful. Christians are also so forgetful. There are many Christians today who are caught up in the rules, the right and wrongs, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ people. Yes, there are many things in the Bible we are told to follow. But we also screw up and need forgiveness. People are fixed on the rules and forget what it means that God is Love. We also forget that we are told to judge, but judge only our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to keep each other in check when we fall. We cannot judge nonbelievers, only God can.

I, and maybe you too, need to take a moment to ourselves. Breathe a bit. Soak in the hustling, crazy world around us and see how tiring it is. Do we really want to be a part of that? Then look to the truth, crack open the Bible, say a prayer. Let God breathe life back into our tired bones. Remember who can control the entire storm.

~Annah