Three ways we’ve seen love conquer fear this weekend
‘The work of love, not the feeling of it, is the only thing that can save us from our fears, anxieties and brokenness.’
I wrote those words on this site just 14 days ago after the terrible bomb explosion in Manchester. It’s hard to believe that just two weeks later, we’re grappling with the reality of another brutal terrorist attack.
Once again, I can’t think of what words to write and so I am turning to the ‘work of love’ which is breaking out across our nation in these troubled days. These actions might just move and inspire you to your own works of love.
Around London Bridge and the rest of the city, signs are springing up with the words #TurnToLove. With such disturbing events unfolding so close to us, it’s easy to turn to hatred and division. But Londoners are choosing to respond to this latest attack with life, optimism and determination. It’s not easy to stand for love at times like this but when we chose to do so, it is a powerful and courageous thing. These messages posted up around the city will encourage those walking to work over London Bridge today and inspire us all to #turntolove when we feel scared or angry. As Martin Luther King so beautifully said: ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’
2. Kindness wins
As with Manchester, people who lived close to the attack were offering beds, cups of tea and a warm welcome to those who couldn’t make it home on Saturday night using #roomforlondon on Twitter. @brianfinn96 offered to pay to put anyone stranded up in a hotel for the night. Stories are emerging of kind taxi drivers taking people home, shop owners offering food and shelter, as well as moving anecdotes of people risking their own lives to save others. These actions remind us that when adversity strikes we all have the potential to rise to something better, to think of others before ourselves. Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to help people out on Saturday night.
3. One Love Manchester
Last night, Ariana Grande proved to the world that her generation will not be overcome by fear, defiantly performing at the One Love benefit concert in Manchester she organised – just a couple of miles away from the arena where her last gig ended in total chaos. In togetherness and hope, the crowd and millions of TV viewers listened, cried and sang along with the inspiring collection of musicians from Coldplay and U2, to Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.
Each one had a powerful message of solidarity for the crowds, but Justin Bieber’s rally cry was perhaps the most pertinent: ‘I’m not going to let go of hope. I’m not going to let go of love. I’m not going to let go of God… Put your hand up if you’re not going to let go. God is good in the midst of the darkness, God is good in the midst of the evil, God is in the midst no matter what’s happening in the world. God is in the midst and he loves you and he’s here for you.’
The young crowd threw their hands up into the air choosing hope over fear, declaring that love has to win.
As we try to come to terms with the events of the past few weeks, will we also put our hands in the air and choose love? We can take our lead from the words of 15-year old Adam who Ariana Grande met when she visited victims of the Manchester attack in hospital: ‘Don’t go forward in anger. Love spreads.’
Image by Tee See via Flickr/Creative Commons.