It’s Saturday morning and I am struggling to tear myself away from the news.
My heart is breaking and my head wants answers.
There are weeks when the war against good and evil, pervades our natural world in ways we never thought possible. When evil breaks out on our streets and stabs wildly at our hearts.
This week was one of those weeks.
Sydney was hit in the heart. In the heart of our city, a force of evil gathered through one very mixed up man, to wound us right where it hurts. In beautiful Martin Place famous for its Christmas tree and pedestrian ponderings. Famous for morning coffees, and workplace chats. Famous for Christmas shopping and Christmas lights, evil struck.
And what struck at the heart of 2 beautiful Sydney Siders going about their day, struck at the heart of our city and its people.
That’s the beauty and pain of community, of our humanity. One heart can be struck dead and a million can feel it, a whole city can feel the pain.
On Tuesday morning I awoke to the devastating news that 2 hostages held in the Martin Pace siege had died. My heart sank. Then the kids woke up, and they heard the news. It’s hard to shield our little ones from the reality of a fallen world.
And when a wound hits the heart of our city, how do we respond, how do we find healing. It began, with one woman who offered to ride with a Muslin fearing persecution, and continued with thousands of hash tags – #illridewithyou. It continued with hundreds upon hundreds covering Martin Place with flowers.
You see every time our mind shifts from our own pain, to loving, our heart begins to heal.
On the morning after the siege I got myself and my kids ready to head into our church in Darlinghurst to pack hampers for the hurting members in our community. I could feel the healing begin to flow, as I moved from the news, to healing the hearts of others with simple provision. We drove over the bridge and past Martin Place. Many gathered, flowers were already lain, the news reporters continued to report. We arrived at church, a living beating heart in the midst of our beating city. They were already at work. Men and women loving God and loving others, filling hampers and remembering Christmas in the midst of the pain.
The kids jumped to the task, and I felt the healing flow.
Then we prayed, we gathered and we cried out to God, knowing that good will always overcome evil, and love will always prevail.
That night another blow is struck, this time at the heart of children on the other side of the world. And our heart breaks again. Evil smashing in to territory sacred to our hearts, our beautiful children.
We keep walking and we keep praying knowing that good will overcome evil, and love will always prevail.
On Thursday we open the doors of our church for the broken, the hurting, and the lonely in our community to dine in celebration of Christmas. And the healing power of love starts to flood my heart. I am in my sweet spot. Opening wide the doors of acceptance, love and provision to those that are hungry in body and soul.
Then it’s Friday. Beyond belief our hearts are hit again, with the news of 8 children in the North of our beautiful nation. It’s too much, tears flow.
How do we respond to such violence against the little ones that we are called to nurture and protect? How do we keep walking with our broken heart?
I have learnt this week, that love is the only way forward. The only way to heal our aching, breaking hearts is to love more, and keep loving. When evil attacks, we cry, we pray and then we love, we continue to love. Knowing that good will overcome evil, and love will always prevail.
Kirrily Lowe is a Sydney based writer, pastor and Mum to 3 young boys. She is the author of The Invisible Tree children’s books and pastor together with her husband Tim at C3 Church in Darlinghurst. Kirrily writes regularly at kirrilylowe.com .