In today’s world, information travels instantly. We have seen and heard live posts from an event or tragedy within seconds after they happened. We, as a nation, have never become so callused by the loss of innocent life as we are now. We literally see it hourly all around the world. Some of us have seemed to have formed a since of detachment from things that do not have a physical or financial affect directly on us. It is a coping skill to continue on with our tasks and lives and for some a realization that God will somehow bring about good, even out of the worst scenarios. But how can we make a difference?
In our daily struggles we find two choices. We can live every minute serving God, or we can choose to serve the thief! Saint Gregory Palamas writes: “…we are not without hope of salvation, nor is it at all the right time for us to despair. All our life is a season of repentance, for God ‘desires not the death of the sinner’, as it is written, ‘but that the wicked turn from his way and live’ (cf. Ez. 33:11 LXX). For, if there were no hope of turning back, why would death not have followed immediately on disobedience, and why would we not be deprived of life as soon as we sin? For where there is hope of turning back, there is no room for despair.”
Earlier this week we lay to rest a great example of someone who helped a lot of people into the Light of Christ, he made a difference! He spoke to me personally in a loving manor from across the arena at the Norfolk Scope when I was a preteen and touched a cancerous darkness that was hiding in my heart. Although as I matured, we did not agree on everything to do concerning God, but Billy Graham helped me realize that something was missing in my life and I needed Christ to conquer the darkness storming around inside me.
And as I remember the Orthodox Saints of the Church, I reflect upon all the times I could have helped someone but instead kept the light of Christ selfishly hidden, allowing the thief to steal, slay and destroy. And we all see the results daily of that selfishness in the news and social media. Helping one person seek the Light can literally affect millions of people. For we who believe, a genuine response to God involves faith, repentance and obedience. “Let not your heart be troubled; keep on believing in God, and believing in Me.” [Jn. 14:1] And we here: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” [Mt. 28:19] Why are you here on this Earth? “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”(James 2:17) Make a difference!
Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-4-18