History does repeat itself. Sometimes in its repetition we can see the heartbreak of the transgressions of the past repeated in the present with an even deeper and more insidious result. Look around you and what do you see? Shootings, stabbings, bombings, race riots, gangs, rape, murder, genocide; Black lives matter, police lives matter, all lives matter but what does it matter? Politicians lie, people lie and so many lie unnecessarily in early graves. Save the whales, save the schools, save the planet, save the children, but save them for what future? Muslims against Christians, Christians against other Christians, and seemingly the world against Judaism while the Atheists say, "I told you so." Women's rights, animal rights, civil rights, gun rights, LGBT rights - so many rights, but everything still seems so wrong. The world has become dangerous and angry. Their clamoring for peace is drowned out by the ever increasing clamor of violence. Where. Is. God? Does He hear? Does He know? Does He care? Has God completely lost control of our world?
We all have experiences in our lives that hurt. Sometimes the pain in our lives can feel like a flood - an overwhelming tide that is sweeping us away and we feel all alone. So we try to cope. We try to find something to hold onto or something to do that takes our minds away from the pain of our lives. For some of us, especially for teenagers, what they find to mask their heartache is physical pain they can control and inflict upon themselves. As we invest our time today in discussing positive and negative ways to cope, we dedicate our conversation to those who find themselves coping through self-injury. Our message is simple – there is hope and it can be found!