Whew! Does anyone else feel like their brain is going to explode with all the controversial craziness that is happening in the world these days, specifically America? Yesterday was supposed to be a no social media day for me, then I had some things come up that I felt like it was necessary for me to be on it, and stay informed. Then today, I had thought that I would disengage because technically I am supposed to be staying off of it once a month, and I have yet to do that for the month of January. There's only one day left! So....maybe tomorrow? Or maybe I just try to check it less, and not engage in the debates, or the craziness that is everyone's opinions.
I have a lot on my mind today. Most of which causes me to ponder what is truth and what is false. Do you ever find yourself thinking that nothing you read is truth? Because you feel like everything has gotten so mixed up, that there couldn't possibly be any way that the truth is actually real?
It makes my head hurt. Like for real hurt!
How do we decide what to believe? How do we decide what is truth? How do we stand up for what we believe is truth without judging those that don't see things the way we do?
In this world we face many things. The truth is that this world is broken. It is so broken. I find myself on a daily basis fighting against the brokenness. I want it to be fixed so badly. I want the hurt, pain, sadness, sickness, disaster to stop. I want there to be peace. I want my facebook feed to be filled once again with food pics, selfies, and people lying on beaches. I want to be able to open up a page without seeing all the name-calling, degrading comments, and rudeness.
That's not what the world is though, because it is broken.
So, do I ignore it? Do I just live my perfect American dream life, not caring because it doesn't really affect me? Or do I do something?
The other day I wanted to scream, and cry. I wanted to lash out at everyone that couldn't see things the way I did. I wanted to really just say some things that I knew would go no where, but they sure would make me feel a lot better!
Here's the deal, 10 years ago I probably would have considered myself Conservative. In fact I would have considered myself really conservative. I grew up Southern Baptist, I went to a Southern Baptist college, I worked with people that were like-minded. Then I moved overseas for the second time in my life, and was met with people that didn't necessarily hold to the same conservative values I had lived by. I encountered Jesus in a way that I had never really encountered Him before, and I was forced to decide what I believed to be true about people from other places.
I met refugees that were alone, held captive, and struggling to find meaning to life. I walked down the streets where brothels lined every inch of the sidewalk. I met women, and men that literally had lost hope in everything. And my view changed.
I became less concerned about checking every box, and more concerned about hearing people's stories. I became less concerned about condemning people to hell because of their lack of beliefs, and more concerned with them knowing that they were loved and valued. I became less concerned about everyone living by my standards, and more concerned with understanding the standards that they acknowledged. I became less concerned with being the "American" in the room, and more concerned with diving in head first to anything cultural I could.
My life to me isn't about being an American. It has gotten me into some pretty amazing places, where I have had the chance to meet and experience some pretty cool things. I am privileged to have been born in America. I know that. All it takes is visiting any third world country, and you realize just how blessed you are. I don't hold to the notion that America needs to be the best, because as far as I can see it was not set apart as God's special people. As far as I can see, Americans are not and will never be superior to any other nation.
I think that is where I am going to differ from a lot of people. Yesterday I was chatting with a friend, and she said, I am a Christian first, and an American second. So here's the thing...I don't even know if I could say American second. I would almost consider myself a Refugee second, because this world is not my home. I am here because God has placed me here. I am here because I have been given the opportunity to be here. I don't deserve it more than anyone else. I didn't do anything to get the privilege of being born in America. I just got it. How is it that I should think my life is more valuable than anyone else's?
Before I go too far...
The real reason behind this post. I have been really heartbroken lately by the posts I am seeing from people that I have respected and known for a long time. People that aren't putting others first, people that aren't acknowledging that Syrian Refugees deserve our love and care. Or that our Muslim neighbors that live down the street from us are scared. They are scared! They did nothing but be Muslim. Is that grounds for them having to fear? It doesn't even matter if you agree or not...the truth is they are scared, and friends that should be enough to warrant an honest, loving discussion with each of them.
So today, I prayed. I prayed for myself and others. I prayed that I would have the heart of God. I prayed that I would be able to see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and touch with His hands. I prayed that I would understand what matters to Him. I prayed that I would understand and learn how God's heart is responding to what is going on in my country and the world right now. I prayed that I would see EVERYONE the way He does.
When I go to God for those answers, and allow Him to really open my heart I believe that I will understand, and love more.
I am not going to ever claim to be completely Republican or Democrat because I don't think that either of those parties is completely in the will of God! (shocker, I know!)
I am though, going to be on His side. God's side. I am going to support life, support people. I am going to support freedom to choose religion, schools, lifestyles. I am going to let the world live by their standards, not my own. I have to account for my actions only. One day when I am asked I don't want to have to say no to the question.... "When I was hungry, did you feed me, when I was naked, did you clothe me?" I don't want to have to say no. I want to be able to say yes, every time.
So today, I choose the Heart of God.