Stability in Chaos
|Helping a student with their skateboard art|
For a good portion of the summer the sky throughout the lower mainland of BC and the Pacific North West of Washington was overcast with dense smoke from the forest fires raging throughout the region. There were threats of destruction by world leaders and hurricanes ravaged through Texas and Florida.
There were many conversations I overheard this summer that spoke to the apocalyptic feel of the world. I make no claim to know how the world will end, but in these times one can see the mystery of the human experience. A group of people made a human chain through rapidly moving water, risking their lives to rescue a stranger. Meanwhile, looters took opportunities to steal valuables from empty houses and businesses. Images were shared across social media of the disasters to illicit a compassionate response, only to find that some took the opportunity to create false pictures to promote political agendas or induce fear and panic.
As if these incidents are not concerning enough there are reports on racism and police brutality, varied opinions on sexuality and gender, as well as protests. Sides are being drawn, battle plans are being made and things like gentleness and respect give way to ‘justifiable’ belittling, ‘righteous’ anger, and everything in-between. We have forgotten how to have discussion and, unfortunately, “If we’re not talking to each other anymore, it means we stand little chance of understanding one another.” (Justin Brierley).
I feel like the only constant in life right now is that the Seattle Mariners had a disappointing season.
For young people growing up in this environment it is no wonder that they are searching for ways to make sense of the world or to numb themselves from the reality of it. Chaos rages, not only in the world around them, but also in their families, schools, friend groups and their own mental health.
The world of youth is often an ugly and uncomfortable place to spend time. It is a mess that is tempting to try and fix, control, or even seek justice in. As I read this summer, “the strategy of Jesus is not centered in taking the right stand on issues, but rather standing in the right place - with the outcast and those relegated to the margins” (Gregory Boyle). As I begin another school year, my goals are simple; I want to stand as close to Jesus as I stand in these places that are uncertain. I want to depend on him and be a bit of the stable loving presence of God in the midst of this chaos. Pray I would have the strength to endure - and I’ll pray you can do the same in your circles. Thank you, again, for your support. You are a part of keeping me in the place God has called me to stand for this season.
- Danny Ferguson