Victory over violence
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