I’ve been writing and re-writing this in my head for a while now. And the simmering from the backburner is ready to boil over. Just like the state of our union. How much controversy can one newsfeed hold, really?
Here’s the preface: I have loved America all my life. I love her people. All of them. From the Tea Party conservative, to the leftist-wing Liberal. From the Pharisee to the heretic. And every skin tone in between. I really just love people. I’m trying, anyway. This coming from the woman who fails to extend grace and kindness to the people in her own house everyday. I know it isn’t easy, because I fail at it all the time. I am thankful for all that I have and for all those who have sacrificed to give me the greatest privileges in the world. I struggle with entitlement, like many of my fellow Americans. I know that to whom much is given, much will be required. I recognize that I, too, am guilty of doing the very things that I don’t want to do. And to put into practice the things I am about to preach about, is really, really hard.
If this life is just a vapor or a mist, if we are to build up our treasures in heaven, if we are to focus our thoughts on the things Above, and not on the things of this Earth…my friends, I think we’ve been played a fool.
You see, the Bible leads me to believe that there’s a whole lot going on around us that just doesn’t matter. And that there is someone who yearns to make us think it all does.
If our citizenship is indeed in Heaven Above, then one might conclude that America, ultimately, is just a breath in the song that is being sung. Which also leads me to believe that a lot of things people are hinging their lives and hope on…maybe they just don’t matter from a birds eye view of eternity. Someday, she is going to burn. (I’ve read the ending.)
But the things that are happening now that will matter? 20,000 years from now and eons beyond that?
That time you sat down with someone who looks very differently than you do and listened and heard, and took notes.
That time you looked into the eyes of single, black mama and her baby, and then you gave them formula, or paid their shut-off utility bill, and loved them without stopping to figure out if they were deserving.
When you gave the shirt off your back to that homeless man on the train.
When you opened your home, so that teenager sitting in a shelter could have a family and a safe place to land.
When you sponsored that child in a third world country and ensured that they will be fed and educated.
That time you laid your hand on the shoulder of your kneeling teammate and prayed for her.
If we are Pro-Life, we’ve got to be Pro-ALL LIFE.
Lately I’ve been watching those in my own community say things on social media that I can’t even repeat. My heart aches and my soul groans, longing to be clothed with my heavenly dwelling.
Every human being is made in the image of God. Every last one.
The pro-choice bashing, all the while a broken, aching woman watches, seeing that she must be outside the realm of Jesus’ forgiveness. The voting to limit Medicaid benefits that will lessen the chance of that special needs child being able to make it in the world. The political cartoon making fun of people for ‘voting their conscience’ that tells us that listening to the Spirit just isn’t practical and, sometimes, is downright foolish. The clever blog posts ripping a popular Christian writer to shreds when she shared a change in her theological stance. The Christian bookstore chain burned all her books in a smoldering pile of gossip and judgement, while an entire group watched and learned how the disciples of Jesus Christ are known by their love for one another. The comments stating that a young college girl is actually owned by those donors who fund her scholarship and she must obey them as such. A human being is a piece of property who must bend her convictions to the will of those with money.
To say that I am completely disgusted with the 2016 election is small beans compared to this “Uncivil War” that is raging in the country and in the church. Everyone knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
I can’t let my kids listen to political ads because we try to teach them about kindness and love, and the way we should treat our fellow humans. I don’t think we can set those values aside for election season.
When people fear losing something they dearly and desperately love, idols included, they have a propensity for turning into rabid beasts. They lose all sanity and stumble about like zombies, devouring one another, attempting to add to their band of zombies. Pair fear with a love for being right, and we’re all just frothing at the mouth, aren’t we?
‘Fear not’ is the most frequently repeated phrase in the Bible.
I mean. Everybody has an opinion. Sometimes we’re as smart as God Himself, and definitely smarter than that cousin with opposing political views. Maybe it all boils down to our need to be right. We love to be right. So much more than we love to learn. Learning requires humility, listening, knowing that I can’t possibly know it all, listening, letting go of black-and-white thinking, listening, and considering the world through the lenses of someone totally different than me.
Since when does not agreeing with someone mean we can’t like each other, have a relationship, and come together for the greater good. Why do we label someone as ‘evil’ or ‘selfish’ when they don’t agree with us? And how on earth could ‘compromise’ ever become a dirty word?
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Did Jesus command us, ‘Go ye, therefore, and make judgements of the world?’
How about, ‘Love the government with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is you shall love your political ideology as yourself?’
The good news is, the election of 2016 is almost over. The best news is, the King is still on the throne. And the King is coming. Maranatha.