Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Quickblog: Stop The Violence Rally: What I Learned Yesterday


It’s Monday. I probably won’t have time to develop this until later in the week so I thought I’d dump some thoughts into a quickblog post this morning.

The third annual Stop the Violence rally was yesterday.

You can read the Beacon Journal’s summary here.

You can read WAKR’s summary here.

Taking on the theme of the damage drugs are doing to our community, the name was extended to: “Stop the Violence, End the Silence”. Here are a few things I learned:

1. People are grieving.

The effects of crime and illegal drugs have incredibly damaging effects on people. Grief doesn’t go away after a funeral is over, or after a rally and a few candles.

It’s a process that stirs the rawest of human emotion.

2. Grief is communal.

As a community member and a community leader, I grieve. I don’t like funerals. I’m sorry for those who have lost close friends and relatives to violence and drugs.

Everyone at the rally, in some way shape or form, grieves injustice and the loss of human life. We grieve directly or we weep with those who weep. Or both.

People in our communities need support and encouragement. This is brought to the forefront when public gatherings give opportunities for these realities to come to the surface.

3. It is possible to express raw emotion in a healthy way.

Terri, Susie, Amy, Mark and others who did such a great job with the rally all experience difficult grief. It’s what they’re doing with their grief that should speak.

I was very encouraged by the healthy expression of emotion at the rally. Calls for justice? Yes. Calls to rid our community of drugs and make drug dealers accountable? Yes. Calls for responsible gun ownership? Yes. Calls on city leaders to take the problems seriously and interact with the public? Yes.

But, none of these calls got out of control or teetered into the realm of disrespect. The consistent theme in the expression of emotion was to use it for good.

4. You never know when God is going to show up.

I’m not sure anyone planned on God showing up and doing work in people’s lives yesterday (can we ever really plan for it?). But that’s what happened. Jesus was glorified yesterday as the only way to peace and eternal life. Many responded, confessing sin publicly and trusting Christ.

For many who gathered, God’s movement encouraged our hearts greatly.

5. Believers struggle.

I am very comfortable around believers who can confidently point to Jesus as their daily need. The danger (especially the longer you are a believer) lies in hiding our struggles and stifling opportunities you have to share your struggles.

Putting up walls and never moving through difficulty in healthy ways destroys the possibility of trusted friends and community using their gifts and abilities to support us.

Think. Are you glad people speak out about difficult issues, or would you rather they just keep quiet and keep things buried?

Act. How could you bring appropriate action in your community to address needs or problems?

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