It is never pretty though it is inevitable. Confrontation of neighbors, friends and family members is hard, but it is a necessary step in real community building. The main thing is to do it in love. But how does it work when we live in a culture that often confuses love for hate and hate for love?
Boston on Lockdown
At this writing, the entire city of Boston is on "lock down." A suspect in the Boston Marathon terror attack is on the run and his brother dead when he strapped an IED onto his body and was confronted on the campus of MIT. Legalism and privacy statements often prohibit real communications in our culture, yet what led to the bombings at the finish line at the most famous of running events and what happened before in the lives of two young men may not have happened if only a neighbor or a friend might have taken one or both of the young men and lovingly confronted them.
Think of the most heinous acts that the world has witnessed in the last decade. how many have been committed by people who were involved in their community? On the other hand how many of the most heinous acts in history were committed from an isolated state; where community was not the priority but instead was the enemy. Religion can be deadly especially when the philosophy is drawn from isolation and fellowship and relationship building is void and null. Satan is religious and he wants us to be religious too. Isolated, in religion and self-fulfilling prophesy is how the devil works in young minds. Think Timothy McVeigh; think Lee Harvey Oswald; Sirhan Sirhan; think Kleibold and Harris; and now:
“I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them,” slain terror suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev told a reporter. An uncle who lives in Maryland calls his nephews "losers." The family is spread throughout the east coast according to news reports. A sister in New Jersey, and the uncle in Maryland are cooperating, coaches and teachers of the two men are at a loss to what happened. "It comes down to this," one investigator said, "There is more than two people involved in this plot and those people used the two young men to be the pawns in a terrorist act to deconstruct community as terrorist organizations often do."
There is little doubt that family or community involvement could have helped to prevent the loss of life and the lingering rehabilitation of the injured people in Boston. Confrontation was inevitable in this case and yet so many innocent people are affected by this act of terrorism and hate that it could take years to rebuild the community. It is going to take prayer; trust and courage to step outside comfort zones in Boston again. Confronting evil is the best way of conquering fear. And that is a big part of community building.