There is much injustice occurring in our nation and backyards. It’s overwhelming enough to make one feel helpless and vulnerable. Maybe you’ve felt it too. I don’t have answers and won’t pretend too. I also don’t engage the fallout on social media for various reasons.
Social media isn’t the best or most effective place to have the conversations about AlltheThings going wrong. It can be a starting point, but I’d much rather sit with you face to face and talk it out. Mostly because I don’t think you’d talk to me as angrily crazed, disrespectful, or aggressively as you do on social media if we were speaking face to face, but maybe I’m wrong. I’d like to give all of us the benefit of the doubt, but much of the recent banter leaves me doubtful. Truth be told, the aggression, name-calling, and blaming make me want to leave the community table and seek the shelter wild animals.
Maybe some of us are silent or disengaged or really broken and undone by it all that we don’t even know how to respond other than with prayerful cries of, “Lord, help;” or “God have mercy.” If that’s you, because it sure is me, then keep praying and crying out. There is no shame and no condemnation in crying out to God. There is no shame in choosing how you will engage regarding the difficult conversations we need to all have.
You know your boundaries, what stretches you, and what’s toxic or healthy. You know when and where you can engage in conversations that can be uncomfortable but necessary, and even if you don’t always know, perhaps you are one of those people who want to make a difference but feel threatened by the angry voices you see or hear. Maybe you already know (or maybe you don’t) in your heart the places where you can act to make a difference. No one else can really tell you that but you, or at least you can seek ways to make a practical difference. So choose to live from a healthy place even when you’re working through the tough stuff. It makes a difference.Empathy can often be a gateway to understanding and resolving hard problems. #thelemonadestories #storiesofwhen #write31days Click To Tweet
Keep interceding. Seek God for how you can make a difference where you are now. Ask God for grace and strength to minister reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Be willing to listen, to speak up, to hold faith, and to love well and without condition.
“I see you.
I hear you.
I’m sorry this is happening.”
These words are empathy’s calling card – an invitation to sit with someone in their pain or circumstance. It’s not a moment to fix, rebut, chide, put down, mock, explain, philosophize, or finger point. We’ve got our fair share of that messing things up.
Empathy can often be a gateway to understanding and resolving hard problems. It seems to break down barriers and invite connection between people. Over the years empathy has also given me a way of relating to people in ways that allow for deeper friendships and relationships. Being a receiver or giver of empathy is powerful; at least that’s how it’s played out for me during difficult circumstances, and I think it’s what gives us space to speak life and hope in the most despairing of situations. I’m praying through all the current issues in our nation (racism, injustice, etc.) because I want to be a part of the solution. I want to practically engage in the work of reconciliation.
As a Christ follower, I have been challenged to engage but haven’t always had a practical response. I only know that here on the earth, I’m called to love God, love my neighbors, and live (obey) out His word in my everyday life. He has also called me, and you, to the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:16-21). Sharing the gospel of how we can all be reconciled to God, but I think it goes deeper than reconciliation because that work invites us to make our lives and our world right and better – seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly. How do I live that how in this right-now life? I don’t have the answers so I’ll keep praying and interceding because these prayers matter just as much as the work of reconciliation and seeking justice.
I’m believing God for the anointing to speak life in places where there is decay, to activate hope where there is despair, to act justly and with mercy in ways that turn this world around. Yes! That’s what I’m praying and for the wisdom to be able to do this work in the ordinary everyday mundane.
Of course, these are things I’m preaching to myself. You just happen to be listening in as you read this post. I don’t have it all together since I’m beginning to seek how to practically live out the gospel in ways that make a difference. It is a journey, but I know it will be worth it in the end.
How are you wrestling with life and living out your faith practically? I’d love to hear your stories. Let’s make the sourness of our world’s problems sweeter by engaging in healthy conversations that deliver practical, life changing solutions.
This post is a part of my 31 Days of Writing challenge. It’s all about taking the sour things of life and reframing them to find the sweetness of faith, hope, and resilience. I hope you’ll join me on this month-long journey. You’ll also find me sharing bits and pieces on my Twitter and IG accounts. I’d love to see you here, and you can also subscribe to my blog/newsletter here.