The last two days I have been glancing at my computer and trying to ignore the nudge of writing on my blog. I usually use this as an outlet for my feelings, circumstances, frustrations, basically a journal of my life. So, it is curious as to why I could not bring myself to the keyboard.
This week has been a rough one in my country. I have found it so incredibly difficult to put into words how I am feeling, my fears, and my hopes. It almost seems impossible to express anything on social media, despite the best intentions, without having the wolves come at you. Honestly, I’m typing this now without a clue as to the title and after sending up a prayer for the Lord’s guidance in what I type and that it may glorify Him.
The scripture read today at church came from Luke 6:35-38:
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(emphasis added)
My pastor spoke about the current protests going on in our country, as well as, the fear among our fellow neighbors. How even, in the small farming community I live, there are families who have sought out our church to see if we could be a safe haven for them. They are scared.
The above scripture is a call to Christians; but it goes even beyond that. Although, I am a Christian and believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior, I know there are those out there who do not have my belief system. I know some of these people personally, they are my friends and family, and I love them very much. They also, are great, loving and compassionate people.
I believe it is a call to humanity to love your enemies, lend and give to them without expecting any thing in return. We all should be merciful. We should not judge or condemn and we all need to forgive.
The rhetoric between Americans, on both sides, is deplorable. The protests that are anything but peaceful, are wrong. The name calling of ‘cry babies’ and telling those who are legitimately hurting to ‘suck it up’, is wrong. The continued sharing of memes disrespecting our current president and our president-elect is wrong. The list can go on and on and on. Not one of these behaviors glorify our Lord. Not one of these behaviors show people God’s love.
It doesn’t matter who you supported and your reasons behind it. It doesn’t matter who won or who didn’t win. Why? Because NOONE can control how you respond to someone else, except you. Your behaviors, actions, words, and responses only speak to your own character and where your heart lies.
I pray for healing for our nation. I pray for the hateful words to cease and be replaced by words of encouragement and love. I pray that we stop pointing fingers and casting out judgments and instead start opening our minds, hearts, and arms to people in our communities.
I am going to end with extending the earlier scripture and using The Message version. This is Luke 6: 27-38:
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”