This weekend is one that many look to hope, renewal and restoration. This weekend for some is Easter and Resurrection Sunday, for some it’s the celebration of Passover and for some it’s a time for bunnies, eggs and candy. Stores are closed, people have taken off for Good Friday and colors are blooming all over a community filled with festivals and other events. Regardless of what you celebrate, the premise behind it all is hope and joy. Billy Graham spoke of the cross in his My Hope program seen throughout the world since November of 2013. The hope is in something higher than ourselves and what will sustain us through life.
The challenge for a community is to help the hurting. When frustrations increase and low self-esteem is a constant, unhealthy interactions may arise. Physical, mental and emotional abuse may be the only way someone feels they can deal with their helplessness and hopelessness, however there is another way. When people have no hope, then the world becomes a darker place to live in. The key is to help everyone find hope. Help the abuser realize they do not have to abuse, and help the abused know there is a healthy relationship waiting for them. Everyone deserves to know what happiness and joy feel like; no one should live in fear every day. It may take a community running a 5K to bring awareness about child abuse, or holding a symposium to learn about human trafficking, or a vigil to help those who are hurting from violence to bring the hope back. Everyone is responsible for their neighbor, bearing each other’s burdens. When you see someone hurting, please lend a hand. It can be as simple as handing them the number to 211 to get immediate counseling, or referring them to a local domestic violence shelter, or inviting them to church to find healing. Whatever the situation, we are our brother’s keeper and if everyone spent some time instilling hope and pointing others toward the one that can facilitate that hope, our community will thrive.
As the Tallahassee community finishes up Victim’s Right’s Awareness week, Sexual Violence Awareness Month, Easter, Passover and other recognitions, please remember that hope is essential to bring peace and comfort to those who are hurting and vulnerable. We have a job to do, so let’s get to it.