Vic­tory over vi­o­lence

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Af­ter hear­ing Mayor Stodola speak about the in­crease in vi­o­lent crimes in Lit­tle Rock, I was feel­ing over­whelmed! What is go­ing on? What can we do about it?

The so­lu­tion be­came so ob­vi­ous to me as my hus­band and I waited re­cently for an el­e­va­tor at Bap­tist Hospi­tal. A hand­some young black man ap­proached the el­e­va­tor area. He was wear­ing a T-shirt with the words “I have de­cided” writ­ten on it.

With­out think­ing, I blurted out, “What have you de­cided?”

I was de­lighted when he re­sponded, “I have de­cided to fol­low Je­sus. I was bap­tized this morn­ing.”

I grabbed his hand and shook it heartily as I told him how glad I was to hear that. The walls came down. I knew we were brother and sis­ter in Christ. The rea­son I am so ex­cited about that is be­cause Je­sus is a heart-trans­plant sur­geon. If we re­ally fol­low him, he takes our self-cen­tered heart and re­places it with a God- and oth­ers-cen­tered heart. With this new heart, we be­gin to love one an­other as Christ loves us, and to fol­low the Golden Rule to treat oth­ers the way we want to be treated.

I agree with UMC Bishop Gary Mueller’s as­sess­ment that the Chris­tian com­mu­nity is too com­pla­cent about this is­sue. We need to join to­gether with or­ga­ni­za­tions that are al­ready work­ing to stop the vi­o­lence. Ku­dos to KARK and the Arkansas Vic­tory Over Vi­o­lence cam­paign for their con­cern and call to ac­tion. I plan to find my place to vol­un­teer. How about you? SHIRLEY JONES

Lit­tle Rock

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