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

Care About Apathy

“Yeah, being apathetic’s a pathetic way to be. But I don’t care… what matters to you does not matter to me.” ~Relient K [Apathetic Way to Be]

We live in an incredibly individualistic culture. Everyone talks about pursuing their own personal dreams and forging a path in the world for themselves. So many people have started acquiring this mindset that you stick to your own life, I’ll stick to mine, and don’t you dare touch my life because it’s not yours.

We have become an apathetic and emotionless people. But this isn’t about something trivial like where to go to dinner or how to fill our time. No, it’s something much more important—we don’t make an effort to care about anyone else’s lives. It’s as Relient K sings: “What matters to you does not matter to me.” Whether college students rushing to complete their personal checklist for the day or traffic jams of impatient people all in a rush to run personal errands, I look around at my fellow self-centered humans and it’s kind of terrifying. There are times when I do the same thing out of habit because it’s easy, and that’s scary. It’s so easy to be self-centered.

We are fine sticking with the shallow and the surface level. No one wants to dive deeper into the uglier or more serious parts of others’ lives. Don’t mess with me if I have to head to work or I’m in the middle of my me time. Not to mention electronic communication is easier for us to use over face-to-face or even telephone calls. We skip the hard conversations or if we touch upon them it’s not in person, because that makes us too vulnerable, doesn’t it? We don’t want to prove we have deep emotion and we are not satisfied with our lives. We don’t want to be anything but apathetic. We want to keep our cool around other people.

This results in many things, including depression and feelings of isolation. People suffer in silence alone in their houses with their joyless possessions. My heart aches because we all fall prey to self-centeredness or self-pity—we love focusing on ourselves day in and day out. This apathy for other people persists. It’s a trap that is so easy to fall into and almost impossible to get out of.

I want to challenge this idea of apathy and individualism. I believe we were made for community. We need other people to thrive and we need to spend more time doing things for other people. We all have a desire to be wanted and to be loved. That means having intentional conversations, it’s going to be hard, and you’re going to have to open yourself up to others and show your weaknesses.

When I’ve felt super down about my life it has always helped to pour more of myself into others’ lives. There are so many hurting hearts and they need the love we can give them.

We were made for passion and emotion. If nothing else, you should care about apathy.

~Annah

Our Broken, Violent World

Lately there have been more tragic and violent events occurring in our world. As I scroll through social media, all I can see is anger, sadness, and fear. How am I, as a Christian, supposed to react to these events?

In the midst of times like this—hearing about mass shootings and tragic deaths—it’s not easy to see God’s plan. How can there be meaning in the midst of violent chaos? How can these terrible events be part of God’s plan? Where is the good?

Violence is one of the many results of sin. We have turned away from God, causing our world to become a broken place. I have contributed to this, you have, we all have. This means sin, including violence, is inevitable. As much as we will try to stifle it, it cannot be stopped. We as humans are always trying to find a solution to everything. Humans are afraid of death and we will try to prolong it as much as possible.

So back to the initial question—how to react as a Christian? While it’s easy to be fearful, that’s not the answer. Hatred and vengeance towards those that have harmed us is not the answer. No, none of these emotional responses are the answer. They might be how our flesh desires to act, but as Christians, this should not be our response to violence.

“Behold, God is my salvation; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” ~Isaiah 12:2

We are not supposed to try to fix the world like humans are often inclined to do. We are to show others that we have hope beyond this world. Christians are to show each and every person on the planet that they are welcome to be with God after death, without pain or suffering.

I have hope in a God bigger than this world. He’s bigger than the struggles I go through and the daily violence throughout our planet. His love covers me and you. Daily he provides us with grace and mercy. He sent his son to die for us, so we can have this chance to end up somewhere better than here. We don’t deserve this love, but he pours it over us regardless. That is something worth telling others about.

~Annah

While I Weep

I sit here crying
Because they don’t know any better.

A ten year old girl
Standing on the brink of a full life
Never saw it coming
That her mother would trade her
For a few pieces of silver

She is used
Abused
And broken

And she knows nothing else.

A thirteen year old boy
Playing star on the basketball team
Was unaware that when he missed
The winning shot
His dad would make sure he never saw victory again

He is beaten
Ashamed
And blamed

And he knows nothing else.

A twenty year old woman
Walking through her campus
Had never imagined
That others would comment “too skinny”
And it would break her

She is stressed
Depressed
And self-harms

And she knows nothing else.

A thirty year old man
Radiating passion in his work
Could not have predicted
That his business would fail
And he had no means to regain composure

He is lost
Powerless
And homeless

And he knows nothing else.

All the while
I sit here crying
For my children
Deserve
But don’t know
Any better.