One More Choice

I’ve had Facebook for the last 3 elections, and I have never seen things get as personal as this one. Discussions were not being had; people were being talked at. If someone voiced a different opinion, they were not welcomed into the discussion, but belittled and attacked.

And this happened among friends.

The damage has been done, the words have been said, and the wounds have been inflicted. We are tired. We are all tired of hearing one thing or another, and being made to fit into one box or another. We are numb and weak from fighting back.

But I’m asking that we all make one more choice.

Decide if it’s more important for you to be right, or if it’s more important for you to be in right relationship with those in your community and your circle of friends.

These are the people who will go to your kids’ soccer games, run the booster club with you, or sit with you for coffee or a meal. The politicians will continue to be faces in the crowd and our TVs, and they will be perched on a mountaintop we cannot scale. They will never love us back, nor will they feed and clothe us when we are broken.

But we, the people, will be in each other’s lives, day in and day out. We, the people, must be each other’s community, and we must hope for a successful term, whether we voted him in or not.

Because what he does in these next 4 years does not affect only those who voted for him, but it affects all of us and even the world, and the generations that follow. If the captain doesn’t know what he is doing, the ship will sink with all aboard.

So pray for our neighbors, pray for our leaders—both locally and federally. Decide if a relationship is worth it, and say what you need to say in order to mend it or move on from it. Think before you speak and act. Listen before you pass judgment. Learn what it means to truly love, sacrificially and unconditionally, to the point where it is uncomfortable and asks us to give everything we have.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is not a nice sentiment. It is a command. Love your neighbor. Love your African American neighbor. Love your Mexican neighbor. Love your Asian neighbor. Love your gay neighbor. Love your hypocritical neighbor. Love your white neighbor. Love your Muslim neighbor. Love your racist neighbor.

Love like Christ loved the church and gave all for her.

Love-versation

I’m sorry. I’m sitting right next to you, and I still choose to sin. But… please don’t let me go.

Child, let me in. Come to Me when you are burdened and tempted. I will relieve your burdens. I will be your strength against temptation. Let me in to the deepest, darkest parts of your heart. The parts that you hide from the world, the parts that drive you to sin.

The deepest, darkest… the parts I don’t want others to see. I don’t want You to see them either. To see the blackness of my heart, to show You the most vulnerable, the most scarred… is to show You a broken and weak heart.

This heart is where I make my throne. Where it is weak, I will make it strong. Where it is sinful, I will make it pure. Where it is scarred, I will make it beautiful. Where it is broken, I will make it whole.

My heart drives my thoughts. My thoughts drive my heart. To let You into one is to let You into the other as well. Will You hate me when You see these places? Will You abandon me? Will You forfeit this weak child?

See the wounds on my hands, the wounds on my body. I endured it all so I might find you, to bring you to me. I accepted it all to ransom you.

Was it worth it? The pain, the torment, the undeserved punishment. Was what You got worth it? Separation from the Father, abandonment from the world. Was I really worth it?

You are worth every drop of blood I shed, every tear I wept. Every strike, every shun, every word of ridicule, every trial. My child is worth more than these.

How can You be so sure? I’ve failed you so many times when You’ve never failed me once. Why haven’t You abandoned me? You have every right to.

Child, I have bigger plans for you that outshine you 40 years in the wilderness. You wander now, and you get off track. I am always with you, and I will guide you to a road that won’t leave you ridden with guilt. I will lead you to a road where you will experience my joy, but you must choose to walk upon it. Oh, how I wish for you to dance in my joy.

Joy against pain. Purpose against emptiness. Living against existing. Courage against fear. Success against failure. Love against hate. What do I have to do to gain this? To dance in Your joy?

Feed my sheep. Love my children. Lead them as I lead you. Love them as I love you. Forgive yourself. The spirit is what is strong. So come to Me. Don’t hide your heart from me. And use it to love my sheep. And to love your Shepherd.