I use to have a savior complex. Okay so saying use to is not a good idea because in moments I think I still do. I had been on countless short-term ministry projects and outreaches and in my head I was like I couldn’t wait to see what I could do. And it wasn’t until a little over 3 ½ years ago that I learned something. I can do nothing. And lately those lessons I learned have been creeping up on me again.
You see normally I am one to stay silent on those hot-buzzer topics. I don’t like arguments, they leave me feeling dry and defeated. And honestly this isn’t really about any certain thing, it’s about not being able to sleep at two am, crying out in prayer over this country, over this world, and over so many people. And my heart hurts, because in doing so, I’m seeing the old dark corners of my heart that haven’t been dusted off in years. I’m seeing those dark corners come into the light and begin to burn in pain. Burn because I am silent. Because I stay silent. Because I am afraid of what other may think of my thoughts. But maybe, maybe now is the best time to no longer be silent. Maybe now is the best time to be honest, to be open, to be real. To honestly say that I have no idea what anyone is going through in this world, I can’t sympathize or empathize or whatever because in my own selfish human way I only know my own pain; which in any comparison is nothing to the worlds. So feel free internet world to comment, to discuss, to nastily and hastily think of a remark that will wound, I mean why the hell not, everyone else is doing it.
And so… here it goes.
I’ve been cruising the news and the Internet a lot lately. Watching, reading, crying. And you know what I have found. …HATE. So much hate. People killing people for the color of their skin; and I can’t imagine what that would be like because, well I’m white. I don’t have to be worried about a target being on my back. And so I have no place to write about how all lives matter or black lives matter because honestly the only life I have ever cared about is my own. So in saying so, that would make me a liar. Because I am a coward. I have a heart that stands up for injustice, but I lack the strength and the courage to open my mouth and ever speak up. And in doing so I remain silent; when I am called to be a voice for the voiceless. How dare I!
And I have no idea what it feels like to not know who you are. Because I’ve always known who I am and each day I discover more of who I want to be. And how do I stand for or against something that I cannot relate to. “Educate yourself,” I am told. But honestly, I am educated, I read and research. But the kind of education that these people are calling me to is the kind of rude and unnecessary banter on newsfeeds and twitters. Of one-liners that are suppose to be filled with poison for anyone standing on the “wrong” side. NO. No thank you. I would rather be uneducated by their standards then stand on the fence yelling obscenities into the Internet world.
And yet over and over again it is what I see.
We hide behind profiles that make our lives look seemingly better than they are so that we can call others out on how terrible their lives are. How inaccurate their statements are, how racist or how homophobic they are. For being male or female, for being brown, black, or white, or Christians, atheist or Muslim or whatever they may be.
We target it and we tear at it and claw at it until we wound. Is this the problem? Is this were it stems from? People so deeply involved in themselves that they lack conviction for their own. I am convicted everyday, because I see the face of evil and it stares back at me from the mirror every morning. And I have to fight against myself and the darkness inside of me before I could ever fight against anyone else. I CALL MYSELF OUT!
It is not my place to condone and it is not my place to judge. To tell people what the right pronoun is, what color of skin is right, what language is right, what job is right, what country is right. My place is among the gutters, I am the worst of these and it is the darkest corners of my heart that I see that I believe I am better. But I’m not, which is why for so long I remain so stagnant.
People, myself included, go around and say we are a Christian, but we don’t carry the weight of that word with us. We turn around and condemn people for their ways of thinking, for their ideas or beliefs. We are not ones who are to condemn, we are one who are called to Love.
And maybe I am part of a generation who is all about love. Who believes in this type of peace signs and rainbow hippie God. No. That’s not it.
I believe in the God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. In the God who parted the red sea, who saved Daniel from the lions den and Shadrach Meshach and Abednego from the flames, the God who sent His son to speak into lives and heal the sick, raise the dying, and in the end shed His blood for my screw ups, my failures, my sinful self. I believe in a God who over and over again has shown love. Unending love. And who continues to show love to all, despite what people may think. What type of God would withhold His love from His people, no matter who they may be, and who are we to take a God who is infinite, a God who is not bound by time or our labels, or by our boxes, and decide who He loves. WE ARE NOT GOD. and we cannot draw conclusions from things that we will never understand. What is the greatest commandment? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is you neighbor? Everyone.
This is what I believe. And I don’t ask you to believe the same things I do. I don’t ask that you open your mouth and allow me to shove my beliefs and my thoughts down your throat. I ask that we all find Love within ourselves.
The God I believe in. He is a God of love and a God of justice.
But I. I am not that God; I am not a god of love and justice.
I am human, A sinner, trying to follow in the footsteps of a God-made-MAN who has called me to this Love.
This is me, putting my foot forward in trying to teach myself that speaking up doesn’t always look like words shaped like daggers, and staying silent doesn’t always look like cowardice. Sometimes we have to find our own words to say before we say anything at all.
My goal is never to try to convert someone, my goal is to never say I understand when I do not, my goal is simply to fall more in love with the Jesus and fall more in love with the people around me. Whether anyone believes or not is up to them.
Right now I am working on standing up for injustice in more than just my heart, I’m just learning how to find my own words to say.
Writings from the road to recovery- from a hate-filled sinner,
HIS and yours,