Coming off a fun filled summer with my boys, beginning of school was a good time to resume my regular writing. Thanks for coming back after a couple month hiatus!! I missed you guys 🙂 Sometimes you just need a break from output + crave a moment of reflection; for making room + creating space for influence. Like a deep exhale, the summer has gone and schedules resume.
As I walked a little 4 year old boy into his Pre-K class today I looked forward into another year. Knowing he’ll meet lots of new faces with different backgrounds and ideas. Thinking about how it’s our differences that make us special and our egos that drive us apart as we get older.
Those differences are something that’s part of my story. An ongoing theme for many I presume. One that takes me to a place of being seen as the ‘lesser than’, by other Christians, for most of my social life.
As a young girl I had a friend growing up that I loved dearly. She and I did everything together. We were raised similarly in some ways + differently in others. The differences became more polarizing as we got older. I remember a conversation with her at a camp we both went to over one summer. A small group gathered in our cabin + the subject of spiritual gifts was brought up. When I countered my friend on a theological thought I was told “Lisa, it’s because you don’t pray hard enough. If you really prayed for those spiritual gifts, the Lord would give them to you.”
The divide of our opinions created a rift in the relationship.
I remember retreating to my bunk as a 15 year old, desperately searching scripture for truth; knowing in my heart this statement was a dagger from a close friend and that’s why it stung so badly. I also knew I didn’t need to defend my relationship with Jesus in order for my statement to be true…and yet that relationship what exactly what she was challenging.
Throughout the years, my relationship with Jesus has been challenged in a variety of different ways, each time because I had a differing viewpoint, different calling, opinion or just challenged the chemistry of the ‘norm’.
I’ve had people say:
- You don’t have those gifts because you’re not seeking God fully
- You have a spirit of fear
- You’re conforming to the world because you believes this
- You don’t lead worship? Maybe that could be part of why you’re not as anointed…
The reality of those words stung every time they hit. They hit that soft spot in my heart that God created as a uniqueness. It’s the place that things are deeply felt, heavily weighed, quietly contemplated. It was also the place where I get to meet tangible words like “grace, peace, rest, promise” each time when people have gone on the offensive.
So what does my story have to do with lions, babies and black lives? Well…all grown up now, we never get that “difference” out of our systems, even as adults. We get equally as passionate about topics of the day. Those topics become our banner.
It’s not part of ANYONES nature to watch something or someone suffer. Ever. So many people decide to speak up! Social media has given us a platform to express the fight between spirit + emotions. Over the years (and always being someone with an opinion), I have learned that being the “I want to stop this from happening to you” person, isn’t always what’s needed. It tends to block my ability to understand a higher level of care; that stepping back + allowing the thing you’re fighting SO hard against is where brokenness might be needed in order for us to watch pieces be put back together in supernatural ways; ways that care for a person far more than I ever could have.
When it gets super messy and yucky and confusing.
Our emotions like to categorize the importance of some topics of debate over others, but really isn’t it that our spirits are in conflict with loss, death, devastation, + division?
I’ve seen hundreds of posts online about Planned Parenthood, black lives matter, Cecil the lion. I’m sure I’m missing about 300 different trending topics…but I just can’t keep up. My heart bleeds for us as human beings. It’s my desire for us to love one another in a way that respects another’s decision to feel passionately about something that we don’t. Allowing someone else to advocate in one area, does not discount our burden.
Isn’t that a value of our unique brokenness? If all our brokenness was the same, we’d be of no help to one another.
And because each of us experiences brokenness differently, we become this awesome blend of people that has a chemistry to gather together, in an effort to KNOW one another. Speaking into brokenness in different capacities that allows others to heal and prompt actionable love.
I hear the argument coming down the tracks. Lion vs Baby vs Black lives. Are you kidding Lisa? You’re telling me that a baby’s life is equal to a lions? Are you saying black lives are more important that white lives?
My answer to that all that hubbub about selective outrage is this: We are an inconsistent people as a whole. It does not matter who we are. We cannot be perfect in every response, action, deed or thought. So, throwing that on the table, I believe that these topics are all important! They are different horrible yucky mind-blowing problems that we face as a generation. If I choose to speak up about one or all of them does NOT make one lesser than.
Are we no longer allowed to speak up for the things that touch those tender points of our hearts? What the online mob mentality has said is No. No you may not do that. We are continually judged by all people groups, according to what we speak up for and what we remain silent on.
Wake up friends! All of this… There is no salvation in any of it it. Not one ounce of this is about saving grace.
The almighty argument for the “more important” has become the wasting away of our reliance on God and widened the gap of true relationship. Let’s allow our voices to be resounding in love not a clanging gong. Let our voices or our silence or our refusal of something be on a level that is worthy of greater respect for one another and humankind.
No one is saying that because they care about a lion doesn’t mean they don’t care about babies or starving nations. Just because people are advocating that black lives matter does not mean they believe other lives DON’T matter.
We’ve become like dogs in a dog fight. We don’t know even know what we’re fighting over. We’ve been trained by fear into using our natural survival instincts against one another for purposes of greed and gain. Our desire for self-sufficiency to make all this happen for God doesn’t please Him. Naw….it does not please Him.
Where opinions are rooted, Satan sits back and watches us circle ’round to throw the first stone. Game. Set. Match.
Let’s all be a little kinder; gentler in our words. Let passion drive our hearts towards people. Let our broken hearts drive us deeper into the presence of the Lord. Let’s start becoming the hope of the world. Be slow to speak and wise enough to listen.