Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sad Heart, Broken World


I know I haven’t said much. It’s not because I don’t care. It’s not because I’m not thinking about it every time I get on the interwebs or have a break in activity. It’s because I’m sad. I’m sad for our world. Perhaps this is the first time in my life when I have genuinely weeped for my nation. I am so very heartbroken.

I’m heartbroken for the loss of life and the loss of decency in our world. I am nauseous from the politicizing. I am angry that people have so many opinions and so little respect for the fellow man.

How did we get here? How did we become a nation so hateful to one another? We hate for such stupid reasons. Your religion is different from mine – when did that become a deal breaker? You’re gay, I’m straight – why is this such a big deal? You’re middle eastern, I’m a decendant of snow white – we are both people, right?

This morning I sat and read through the live tweets of a man who was at a Trump rally and I could only think of one thing; we are a cancer to ourselves. We pride ourselves on our freedom to say what we want, and yet we have forgotten that the things we say have influence. Donald Trump is an extreme example, but don’t we all share the same responsibility? My wise husband has reminded me before that our freedoms are only freedoms until they infringe on someone else’s freedoms.

 You think you are being clever with your sarcastic memes, but how do they affect the mom who is grieving the loss of her child to gun violence? How do your links decrying the sinfulness of a homosexual lifestyle affect the young gay man who is thinking of suicide? How about the immigrant who is working on his American citizenship while working hard to make it here, and you are rallying for a bigger wall?  How about they way we talk about religion and the way “those muslims” do things, and forget that as Christians we share many of the same moral convictions.  Are we fueling the anger, the discrimination, the hate or are we speaking/typing words of life? All too often, it’s the former. 

We forget that if we want to pride ourselves on freedoms, we have to remember that if those freedoms belong to me, they also belong to everyone else in the nation. If I don’t want the government to infringe on my freedom to marry, to practice my religion, to live here in peace, then I sure as hell better fight to my grave for those same rights for all. It’s all fun and games until I am the one in the minority. Then who will decide if I am “worthy” to have those freedoms, or if some madman ruins it for me and my gender, race, or religion?

I am not calling for a decline in personal conviction, but maybe a moratorium on blabbing it all over social media, or the campaign trail, or your street corner before thoughtfully and (if you pray) prayerfully, considering how it would feel if you were the person the vitriol was aimed at.  When you think of the top three things you want your kids to know or learn, what would they be? Is it to hate people that are different, to give backhanded compliments, and to vote for Trump or Hillary? Doubtful. So why do we rail about those things? Perhaps we need to reevaluate our top 3 things and refocus. If I want my kids to learn to love unconditionally, be compassionate, and respect people, I’d better start working a little harder on promoting those things.

If you are a Christian and feel strongly about speaking truth, try to remember that Jesus spoke truth, not on Facebook, but in real life interactions with people. Also, remember that when he was railing against something, it was usually against the church and the way they were acting, so take a long, hard look in the mirror. Remember, that Jesus was the one with the corner on truth, because, you know, HE IS GOD. Show a little humility, recognizing that as well as we can humanly exegete the text, we might get something wrong, because we are not infallible. In fact, if we are going off the truth of the Bible, we would do well to  recognize that as humans, we are often self-focused, self-righteous idiots. That’s why we need Jesus. 

One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is this, “
It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

There are fewer things more clear in the bible than this:
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

So, I’m gonna work on that, because I know I don’t do a great job at it very often. Right now, that looks like laying down my opinions on gun rights and gay marriage. It looks like lighting a candle every day this week to remember the 49 people that died because of hate. It looks like having more real life conversation and fewer Facebook rants. Would you join me?