I want to apologize for yesterday’s post. Normally when I sit down to write I don’t have a plan. What I have is something heavy on my heart and that’s what I give you. But yesterday, what was on my heart felt too scary. It felt too vulnerable and too controversial. So although I gave you my truth yesterday, it felt flat because it was what I did in order to ignore my heart. Hee Haw was sort of a crazy way to not deal with bigger and deeper feelings, am I right? Yesterday wasn’t the authentic I promised us. Although I believe in the value of letting my words marinate for a bit to make sure it’s what I’m supposed to put out there, I’m not sure that worked for me yesterday. The pull on my heart remains strong. It’s more of a massive, unignorable heaviness than a pull really.
I’ve been so discouraged and sad lately. I’ve felt so misunderstood and alone in the specific ways I believe I’m called to love others. I absolutely trust there are different methods and ideas to get to the same God-obeying goals, but more often than not our lack of understanding for each other causes a divide so deep that it often feels irreparable. And as a personality type who literally can’t stand it when people don’t like me or when my heart is misunderstood, it feels absolutely devastating.
Perhaps activism is a phase of grief for me, although I’ll admit it also seems to be how I’ve always been wired. The call to love others by standing with them in solidarity is definitely amplified in my grief though. Maybe it’s because now I have a crystal clear vision of just how short this life is and how we have one shot at loving and helping one another. Having experienced great loss and a long season of suffering, I want to love more fiercely than ever before. I want to comfort others, embrace them with the kind of compassion that communicates to others – you are not alone! I stand with you! I care about you! I care about your struggles! I care that you feel marginalized and forgotten! I care about your heart, too! This is the way I feel I’m supposed to shine God’s light and spread His love. Maybe you do it differently – great. But this is what I know I’m supposed to do right now.
Daily I pray, “God – if I’m wrong…open my eyes! Change my heart!” And so far he isn’t changing me. Every day I wake up and feel the heaviness of other people’s pain on my heart. I’m supposed to do something with that. I really hope you trust me on this.
I don’t care if you affiliate with a different political party than I do. I really don’t. What I care about is how we’ve allowed a canyon-sized gap to fall between us. We are supposed to be ONE body. It’s ok to disagree with each other, but can we listen to each other without viciousness? And if our differences are just too great to figure out, can we still be kind? Can we show extra grace? For me, sometimes the extra grace comes in the form of “hide from feed” or “delete” or telling myself out loud “do not comment, do not engage, do not read.” And I think that’s ok? And sometimes the extra grace involves letting friendships drift. I don’t like this one much, but relationships are sometimes designed for a season I guess. Grief taught me that.
Last Saturday my family attended a peaceful march. It wasn’t to shout vulgarity or hate towards anyone. We stood with approximately 26,000 others to show support for one another. We hugged strangers, an act, which felt like a transfer of the weight of heartache – the hug felt like sharing the heavy loads we each carried in to the event on our own backs. I saw men, women and children of all colors, genders, ages and religions. For me, it felt like a massive gathering of love and unity. It was not an angry protest, rather a peaceful, hope-filled community of people who seek change in a multitude of important categories. Their stories and struggles matter as much as my own. I don’t have to fully understand other people’s issues in order to believe them. And I don’t want to get so loud with noisy truth that God isn’t even heard.
It’s hard. It isn’t cut and dry, no matter how much we may think it is. It’s messy, complicated and overwhelming. Truth and obedience aren’t as easy as we think…neither is love. Ever been married? Love isn’t easy sometimes. I am trying to check myself a lot. I’m trying to remind my ego that I am not God and there is so much I don’t know, so much I misunderstand because I’m not the Almighty. I’m trying to spend more time in prayer because what else?? I’m trying to be whatever it is He wants me to be. THAT is my authentic truth.
I don’t feel particularly strong enough for arguments or unkindness these days. Extra Grace is Required all the way around. Let’s give it to each other, ok?