Friday, January 27, 2017

please, make a fuss.

In the wake of the election, inauguration and all that has happened since I find myself seeing more and more friends/family/acquaintances getting involved and expressing their discontent and anger at what is going on in our country. 

But I have also started to notice an increase in people posting things like "here's a distraction from all the fuss in your newsfeed" or even passively plucked out Bible verses about how the lord will provide and save us all. 
God did not give you a brain, two hands, and two feet to just sit around and watch things fall to pieces. 
God did not give you ears, eyes, and a mouth for you to quietly stand by as people are oppressed, starved, or killed. 
And that IS what is happening and what WILL happen. 
The destruction may not appear obvious or apparent in your view but I guarantee that it is happening.
One of your child's friends at school is on free or reduced lunch and is now going to lose their healthcare. 
I guarantee that someone in your office has severe asthma and will severely affected by the lack of government regulation on our air quality. 
I guarantee that the woman you stand behind in line at Target has had a health scare or pregnancy scare and needed the assistance of a federally funded Planned Parenthood. 
I guarantee that one of your cubical mates at work is a first generation American who's family is now at risk. 

Let's look at what the Bible tells us. Starting with the strong female leads. 

Esther. Yes, Esther prayed and prayed and listened to God. But is that all she did? No, she prayed, listened and TOOK ACTION. She didn't just ask God to free his people. She went into King Xerxes chamber and handled it, freeing her people despite the fact that her husband could kill her for doing so, legally. 

Rahab. Rahab's story is one of my favorites. Rahab lived in ancient Jericho and was not your stereotypical law-abiding woman. She was the owner of a tavern and most likely, a prostitute. But when the time came, she TOOK ACTION. Rahab hid two Israelite spies who had been sent into the city of Jericho prior to Isreal's attack on that city. When these two soldiers knocked on her door, Rahab didn't turn them away or ask God to protect them for her. She acted. And saved her family from being killed in the attack on Jericho in the process. She is also one of four women listed in the Bible as ancestors of Jesus. 

Next up, Jesus. There are so many stories of Jesus caring for the poor, outcast, and sick people throughout the New Testament. But one of the most resonant is the cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem. It is so resonant that it is in all four gospels. Jesus and his disciples travel to Jerusalem for Passover. But the temple in Jerusalem had become overrun with greedy merchants and money changers. Jesus was angry. Seriously, he was furious. Did he turn around and go home muttering about 'all the fuss?' No. He literally turned over the merchants' tables and yelled at them to leave his Father's house. He put an embargo on people carrying merchandise through the temple. He made fuss. He protested. He created the change that was NEEDED. 

Yes. There are many stories and characters in the Bible who are examples of trust in God and faithfulness. But there are also countless examples of that faithfulness taking place in the form of action, empathy and love. Do not use your Christianity or your faith as a reason for silence or as an excuse for inaction. Your silence normalizes what is happening. When you write off the (physical, verbal, visual, social media...) protests of your peers as 'nonsense' or 'fuss' you are giving the current political landscape your stamp of approval. 

If the last week has shown us anything, it is that things are only going to get worse before they get better. Passivity, inaction, and 'not wanting to talk about politics' are what got us here. Speak up, donate, call your representatives, tweet, march, work for a non-profit, raise your children to see their privilege and care for all others--all of these things will make a difference, but do not sit idly by and watch this happen. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

One day at a time

Hey Y'all.

I have to tell you that current events have me struggling.
I find myself here again because I am not sure where else to go. Everyday life continues and it must.
But I find myself avoiding the news, podcasts, papers, magzines--things I used to love.
Because our current politcal climate makes me furious and heartbroken and I just cannot make it through each day hearing about the legislation proposed, cuts being made, nominees being confirmed, groups of people being threatened and harassed... as if it is all normal, as if it is all okay.
This, all of this is not ok.
And I am heartbroken.
But I can't lead everyday furious and heartbroken. Perhaps some of you can. Perhaps some of you can turn that fury and heartbreak into motivation and productive action. But I just can't.
I need to be whole and and complete each day, for my family, and honestly for myself. My mental health cannot handle a constant stream of fury and heartbreak.

And what hurts me even more now is that I love my daughter so much, so completely. And now, not only do I have to teach her to be strong and courageous and loving, but I must find a way to show her how to love others in a country that tells her to only look out for herself.
How do we teach our children to love others, to do unto others, to treat everyone with respect, when our leaders are openly biogted, and clearly care nothing for anyone other than themselves?

How can I teach grace and courage and hope when they are so hard to find in public life?

I am at a loss, and taking things one day at a time.