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Images of war flickering across our screens are as heart-wrenching as they are soul-crushing. So how do we affirm God's presence of good in the face of contradictory evidence that's so visceral? 

I'm finding support in the story of Jesus addressing the mob primed to stone a woman accused of adultery. We don’t know what Jesus feels when the Pharisees try to trap him into saying something they can use against him. We only know that he kneels; and that at his kneeling, the crowd’s murderous momentum halts. We don’t know what he writes in the dust. We only know the words he speaks next, "he who is without sin, cast the first stone," leads the accusers to drop their stones and disperse. Jesus makes space for the divine to express, and in that space life prevails over death.

His response is instructive for us. So if you find yourself feeling trapped between faith in God's all-powerful presence of peace and love, and the earthly reality of power being corrupted for evil purposes, follow Jesus' lead. 

  • Pause -- Deal with your emotional response to the evidence.
  • Reframe -- Remember your truest identity is spiritual.
  • Make Space - Allow the light and life within to shine whereever there is darkness.

In the story, Jesus kneels and rises a second time. When he stands, his instructions to the woman are strong and clear. "Go and sin no more."

In these troubling times, may we stand for peace, love and justice with the same strength and clarity of purpose as Jesus.