I read the news a little this morning. I read the news a little and found that people on one side of the world are killing for "religious reasons" and people on another side are also killing, for opinions and with words.
Maybe it's strange, but I will read a whole article about the killing of innocents before I'll read more than the headline of some sensational opinion piece. I'll choose heartache over irritation.
Everyone dies the most agonizing death in these two ways - with weapons and words. It's killing us all before we even realize there's a wound.
Wednesday morning I had a discussion with a group of young teenagers about respect - the kind we give our peers, our authorities, our enemies and our fears. I wish you could have been there. You'd think it would have been eye-rolling and sarcasm, another form of lecture or lesson-inflicting torture, but it wasn't.
It was dialog. It was the teaching of 9 sets of godly parents being poured out onto a whiteboard through the mouths of kids who know how to talk to one another, but they fail; who know how to treat those they disagree with, but they fall short; who want to do the right thing, but it's hard.
And we live in a world made by words, where anyone can post anything they please on the internet.
We've talked about that in class, too - how we don't just grab any information from any site and use it in our reports or investigations. There are trusted sites that have been vetted and reviewed, much like a book that took time, money, and expertise to write. But for the most part, the ease with which anyone can say anything online, and everyone can read it, has not done a lot of good for our problem with words and the shaky shelters they build us.
I can say anything I want on the internet.
Controversy might bring page views, but that's not a disease I want or a germ I will spread.
Let me die alone, having never been heard or seen or known by any other than Jesus, and I'll die happy.
But if I have a chance to do something beautiful with words, to make order from chaos like the God whose image I'm created in, then what a great responsibility! What a burden! What a chance we all have to shape a safe place with truth and goodness and beauty.
You can say anything you want on the internet.