Kindness Amidst Chaos
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus Christ says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
In a time that is characterized by division, it is difficult to see examples where such neighborly love is shown by the modern world.
A recent fatal shooting involving an African-American man in Atlanta, Georgia has given fresh fuel to the riots sweeping the nation. The shooting of Rayshard Brooks, which occurred in a Wendy’s parking lot, resulted in the business being burned down in the midst of the subsequent protest-turned-riot. 
For the unfortunate business owners (who had nothing to do with the police shooting) this senseless act of destruction became just one more catastrophic event. When one turns on the news, body-cam footage of Rayshard Brooks’ death or George Floyd’s pleas under the knee of Derek Chauvin are intermixed with images of looting and destroyed property. Such sights seem to overwhelm the viewer with despair.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect fix for these problems. This is part of the cost of Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden, as it says in Romans 3:10, “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’” The evil that mankind introduced into the world continues to haunt our societies.
Even so, there are still rays of hope that prove the spirits of kindness and nobility have not been extinguished by prejudice and strife. Many people have stepped up to demonstrate human decency, not just in the national news but also in local communities. For example, 14 police officers bravely signed a letter condemning the actions of Chauvin, saying “Derek Chauvin failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are…We stand ready to listen and embrace the calls for change, reform and rebuilding.” 
In another example of human decency, a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest in London generated an iconic image of a black protester carrying a white counter-protester to safety after he was injured during clashes between the demonstrators.  Displays like this remind us that no matter how much we disagree, at the end of the day, all of us are human and equally capable of good and evil in the sight of the Lord. As it says in 1 Peter 3: 9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
It is easy to get lost in the darkness around us but Christians must remember to stay true to the commandment of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to love our neighbors and exercise compassion for them. By doing so, we honor the Lord and demonstrate our own humanity to those who oppose us. Hopefully, such displays will help to generate empathy and lead to a peaceful resolution to these tumultuous times.
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 Associated Press, “Wendy's burned down by protesters after fatal police shooting,” FOX Business (June 14, 2020), https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/atlanta-police-fatal-police-shooting-wendys-burned
 Rory Sullivan, “Minneapolis police officers condemn former colleague Derek Chauvin charged with killing George Floyd in open letter,” Independent UK (June 13, 2020), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/derek-chauvin-minneapolis-police-open-letter-george-floyd-death-a9564466.html
 “This powerful image of a Black man carrying a white counter-protester to safety frames a day of chaos and race-inspired violence in London,” YahooNews (June 14, 2020), https://news.yahoo.com/powerful-image-black-man-carrying-100616122.html