There are so many things in this life that are out of our control.
Two situations that have been central to this weekend:
When a mind-numbing tragedy befalls innocent people.
When the doctor delivers that diagnosis no one ever wants to hear: cancer.
This weekend, Hope College held its annual Relay for Life event in the Dow. From 7:00 p.m. Friday night until 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, teams of students camped out and walked the track in honor and support of all those who have fought and are currently fighting the battle with cancer.
As the opening ceremony began, we stopped to pray for the people of Paris. For protection, healing, and comfort for those who lost loved ones in such an awful tragedy. There is no way to make sense of the violence. There is no way to make sense of why people do such things in this world. There is no way to wrap the mind around the amount of people across the world that are hurting today, affected forever by this attack. And it’s not just Paris. It’s the thousands of people displaced by violence. It’s Beirut. It’s the problems of this world that we cannot solve on our own–they’re beyond our control.
There are also people around the world hurting from another kind of attack. One that breaks into families and friendships. One that comes without warning and changes the world of those affected forever. Cancer diagnoses are something we can’t control – yet. This weekend Hope College students banded together to walk towards a cure, toward a day when this kind of attack has been stopped for good. 33 teams of Hope students worked together to raise money. Leading up to the event there were bake sales, local businesses donated portions of their profits, and family members and friends gave generously. Friday night the Dow became filled with the Hope and Holland community including survivors and caregivers. Together we celebrated, remembered, and walked for our loved ones and for the hope of getting closer and closer to a cure that will make this unpredictable attacker within our control and a thing of the past. Hope surpassed the fundraising goal of $60,000 by collecting a total of $65,687 in donations!
There are troubles of this world that are out of our control. As we reflect on the chaos and hurt that exists within our world, we need to pray. We can kindle that flaming desire for change, for justice, by stepping in the right direction of things we can hope to gain some control of. We can do what we can to bring God’s kingdom closer to this earth. By supporting one another, by working together for a greater cause, by lifting up our brothers and sisters fighting terror, fighting cancer, fighting the troubles of this world.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
I am grateful to be a part of a beautiful community like Hope that is fighting back by doing what it can to actively work towards good, supporting those within and outside of our community, and praying intently for the problems of this broken world.