I’m not sure about other runners, but I’ve thought about her when I head out. I imagine that the whole thing was a frightening reminder for those who wake up at 4:30am to run. Unsettling to all of us.

What happened is horrifying.

It should never have happened. It is unacceptable.

We go on strike in our hearts, refusing to let this be the reality, refusing to live in fear or inhabit a society in which we have reason to fear for our lives when we run. We fight for something better.

We desire a world where we run freely without fear, there are no tears, and the lamb rests with the lion. No fear. No abuse. No violence. No heartache. This is the kind of world we want and we know is right. We feel it in our bones. The dream is a world in which no harm is intended and no harm is carried out.

This longing hits the mark. It is not unfounded. It is correct.

We know that evil must be cast out. We want it gone — forever. We work towards that world diligently and unceasingly, because we know it is right.

But at the same time we are not deceived. We acknowledge that the sad, current reality cannot be changed by wishing on a star. We are fully aware that we hurt one another and are hurt by one another.

The effort for change is worthwhile and we simultaneously acknowledge that what we long for and work for will not be found in its fullness right now.

We long for and wait eagerly for the day that it is.

The Lord hates “hands that shed innocent blood” and “hearts that create evil schemes” (Proverbs 16). Good. I want a God who hates these things.

As Scott Sauls says, “ if there is no judgment, then there’s no hope for a slave, rape, victim, a child, who has been abused, or bullied, or people who have been slandered or robbed, or had their dignity stolen. We need a God who gets angry. We need a God who will protect his kids, who will once and for all remove bullies and perpetrators of evil from his playground.”

I don’t perfectly embody the striking combination of love, patience, and justice but I’m glad that He does.

He also hates haughty eyes and lies (Proverbs 16). We fight the bad in big and small ways, are careful to do away with hate which is, after all, embryonic murder in our hearts. We do everything in our power to give Love to those we cross paths with, and live wisely in a world that’s not as it should be.

The perfect world is the correct target — and we have glimpses of it. Glorious, peaceful, beautiful tastes of perfect harmony, complete joy, and unbridled freedom. The glimpses awaken our longing for it. We use that longing to propel ourselves toward what we know should be and the One who desires it more than us and will make it come to be.

“Eden’s voice rises from a whisper to a song, and it’s easier to see what we were meant for: to love the world as God does, shaping it to reflect what was in the beginning, and, and even greater glory, what will be in the end.” -Andrew Peterson

Hopeful yet realistic. Wise but not bitter.

We are not resigned to or beaten by the current reality because we have hope for long-term justice and change.

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