How to Decrease Murders in Baltimore : Part 1

             

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The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. 
In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

            Sadness, anger, hope, depression and a resolve to fight with all I have are things I am working through as I sit to write this series of blog posts. I am deeply saddened by the loss of life in my city. I am angry and I have a right to be! I’ve come to realize that bullets and knives don’t care who you are, where you live and how bright your future is. Every person who has been murdered this year (33 and counting as of February 13th) could have been one of my kids, my wife, one of my friends or family member. For someone they were! Baltimore is my city and the people who live here are my people. This is personal for me. I am angry because it’s wrong. I am angry because we can stop the frequency of it and its not getting done. I’m hopeful because God is still on the throne. In the words of the great hymn this is my Father world, “though the wrong seems oft so strong He is the ruler yet”. Without this God who rules in the midst of sadness and violence I would be hopeless. Things can change because God is willing and able to help us to change things. At times I wrestle with being depressed because of all the murders in Baltimore. So I ask God for grace to get up, face my depression and fight it back with the help of my God who made the heavens and the Earth. I am resolved to fight and this series of posts is just the beginning. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

            In conclusion I have three invitations for my readers. One, I invite you who are reading this, especially if you live in Baltimore, to make a commitment to pray for our city, its victims and for those who are planning to murder. Two, I also invite you to get out of your comfort zone, find some victims of murder and bring them comfort in some way. Three, I also invite you to join Jesus in Baltimore as He is fleshing out Isaiah 61 (read it) by His Spirit and through His people the church.

Psalm 46 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. "Selah" There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. "Selah" Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. "Selah"