The world saw more upsetting news this summer than it could keep up with. Shootings of civilians and police officers rattled the country. Terrorist attacks took the lives of those trying to celebrate freedom in France. A gunman killed 49 people at a nightclub in Florida. Suicide attackers killed and injured dozens during attacks in Turkey.
Through the tragedies, however, there has also been hope. Pokémon Go has been one such silver lining. While tensions have been high due to the national climate, people of different races, religions, sexual orientations, political beliefs and economic statuses were brought together through the game. Players are meeting each other as they explore their communities to find various characters. Experiences are now being shared by people of different groups—instead of fighting online about who is right and who is wrong—and a new cross-typical understanding has started to take place.
Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were black men killed at the hands of police officers. These incidents—while heartbreaking—also served as a catalyst for the meaningful discussions about race this country has desperately needed for so long.
Many are calling for reform and helping their peers understand the racial disparities found in the current system. Others are making it their mission to be the change needed in government, education, sports and entertainment—revealing and attacking injustice where it still prevails.
Sin is prevalent in society as the culture continually embraces actions andlifestyles the Bible does not condone. Yet news outlets, blogs and social media have been reporting revivals occurring across the country in the midst of rampant evil.
The “West Coast rumble” began at the Azusa Now conference earlier this year and moved through conferences in San Diego and Seattle. Then schools and communities in West Virginia said they saw a growth in new believers and a renewed passion for Christ. It is apparent God is still moving in the hearts of His people.
The Olympic games have brought people together in solidarity, Americans especially, despite the division being faced on a regular basis. Millions cheered on Team USA as it continued to make history. Michael Phelps broke a nearly 2,200 year old record by earning a 13th individual title, adding to his collection of 28 Olympic medals. Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to earn an individual swimming medal. The Final Five, led by Simone Biles, dominated the gymnastics team competition with more than eight points separating first and second place. Sports analysts are calling them the greatest in history. Support overflowed for Biles as she earned the third consecutive all-around title and became the first American woman to win gold on the vault event. For two weeks in Rio, we have been “one nation” yet again.
Students, faculty and staff of ORU, we face another year together. Let us look at tragic situations, but see hope. Let us demand justice for the oppressed, but forgive the oppressors. Let us witness division, but reach out a hand to build unity. Let us recognize evil, but pray for redemption. Let us see the worst, but know Christ will some how make it great.