Saying goodbye

Final thoughts from the Editor-in-Chief

Hailey Echan, Editor-in-Chief

Illustration by Mia Eshima

There have been a lot of “No more thoughts and prayers” posters out there. I completely understand the sentiment. It makes sense. However, it’s wrong.

I’m all for standing up for what is right and stepping into spaces to make change. Action is required. We should not be sitting around doing nothing. However, we can’t just be taking matters into our own hands.

For those of who choose to follow Jesus, we should be reading Scripture before acting. God is a God of justice and cares about every individual (1 John 3:17-18, Psalm 33:5, John 15:12, 1 Peter 3:8), but we can’t just cherry pick the Scriptures we want. We need to read His Word as a whole.

For example, prayer is vital throughout Scripture, especially when entering a battle or facing something difficult (James 5:13-18, Philippians 4:6-7, Mark 11:22-25). So, as a Christian university, why are we skipping the most important step of praying before acting?

While I am totally supportive of taking other precautions to make change happen, prayer is the most powerful action we can take. Prayer moves in the supernatural and helps set us up to move in the practical. Without prayer and inviting the Holy Spirit into what we are doing, it’s all pointless.

By not praying for our leaders and those around us, we are taking matters into our own hands. That’s exactly what we shouldn’t be doing (Romans 12:17-19, Isaiah 40:31). I’m not saying trusting God is easy. In fact, I’m saying it is also my tendency to want to make things happen on my own. However, choosing to follow God means laying down my own human desires and attempting to seek after God’s heart instead (Romans 12:2). It’s the hardest thing to do. But, if we’re going to advocate and promote change in the name of God, we need to be reading His Word and doing what He asks of us.

I’ve seen and heard multiple perspectives, all using Scripture to back up their point. Quite honestly, if we cherry pick verses, the Bible can seem to support anything. God gave us His Word not to cause confusion and division, but to provide clarity and peace. Hence, we need to read His book as a whole. It’s heartbreaking to see people using His Word to hate others (from all sides). It’s meant to bring life and light, not destruction and darkness – that’s what the enemy wants us to use it for, but it’s not the intent.

All this being said, as we fight for what is right, don’t forget to trust God with the process. He needs to come first, not our own way of doing things.

Instead of “No more thoughts and prayers,” what if we changed it to, “Keep praying” because that is what we are called to do, even if it feels pointless. There is power in prayer. I challenge all of you who follow God and who want to see some sort of change, to stop what you’re doing and pray. Even for those who are persecuting you. Why? Because it is quite literally what God calls us to do first.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~Matthew 5:43-48

It’s been a joy to be part of this paper and this campus. Thank you for sharing your stories and loving each other. I leave with you with this call to action: read His Word and pray first. Obviously it is up to you whether you’ll take it to heart or toss it aside. Either way, I will be praying for all of you at Seattle Pacific University.

It’s been real.