Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I really don't know anything about Amanda Todd, the British Columbia teen who took her own life recently. Of course I am aware that she has led a tortured life in years which should be a time for friendships and fun. Instead they became a dark time of physical and psychological and cyber bullying. But I don't know much about who she actually was as a person and frankly I think Amanda's family deserves some privacy.
I am also aware that the nature of her death and the video which preceded it has resulted in more talk about developing a national anti-bullying strategy and expanded programs in schools and other suggestions which may or may not work. There has been a lot said and done about bullying in recent years yet the cruelty which is enhanced by the internet seems so pervasive and persistent.
Maybe we need more Jesus. From time to time I will say to my wife, Ruth, "we need more Jesus" and she know that this is my simplistic verbal shorthand for my conviction about the loss of Christian community. Call me crazy, but church is a place where we are regularly reminded to choose to be different than our sometimes selfish nature. I know that I need to be with others who follow the Christ of compassion and generosity, the One who saw the lonely and lost when others didn't, and honoured their existence. I appreciate that some will say we don't need Jesus to live these values, or that we could follow some other religion or spiritual path to promote these values. That may be true, to a degree, but my personal experience is of the transformative power of Christ who calls me out of sinful self-absorption to be a "new creation." Sometimes I would like to believe that I am doing okay on my own, but in my moments of clarity I appreciate that I need lots of Jesus and his followers.
I'm just riffing away here, because I know I don't have many answers, but I'm not so sure that anyone else does either.
God, be with all the the young and not-so-young who feel they have nowhere to turn. Teach us the way of compassion and may our faith communities be places of refuge and hope in Christ's name. Give peace to the family of Amanda Todd in the midst of their pain and grief.
Read about Blood Ivory on my Groundling blog: http://groundlingearthyheavenly.blogspot.ca/