Maybe, I’m just a lousy Christian…

So, yeah.  I know I haven’t been writing about adoption or infertility lately, and I’m sorry for that.  This is a strange time to be a blogger as it is hard to focus on your “subject” when there is so much going on in our country and everyone seems to be talking politics.  Just like pretty much everyone I know, I’ve been a bit consumed by all of the stuff floating around on social media and the internet.

I’ve felt like a volcano on the verge of erupting…like I just need to spill it out.  I’ve wanted to say so much on social media, but I’ve tried very hard to keep my thoughts to myself (and my husband).  I’ve read some pretty vicious things as well, was unfriended by a family member for not sharing the same views, and have been quite shocked at what others seem to say so freely and without a thought as to how their words might hurt.

I’ve made the mistake of reading through comments on lots of posts, and WOWZA, there are some nasty ones out there!  Comments like: condemn all Muslims to hell, all Muslims should die, if you didn’t vote for Trump then you are not a real Christian, etc…you get the point.  Sadly, I’m seeing far too many of these type of comments coming from people who call themselves Christians.

I have had this thought: “What would happen if instead of taking the time to write that comment, the person stopped and prayed for their “enemies”?”  I have deep concerns about what is going on with our current political climate and decisions, and I feel a bit helpless, but prayer is one of the most powerful ways to intercede and be proactive in a situation. Perhaps, this is a way to “fight the fight” without actually fighting and without letting our tongues get us into trouble.

I’ve been called a “bleeding heart” more than once in my life.  This reference is meant to be a bit of a slam and meant to suggest that one is weak and foolish, but I do not think of myself as either of these things.  However, I will admit to having a bit of a bleeding heart and to always root for the underdog.

In the times of great strife, I have been comforted by compassionate people who saw past my “junk” or problem and just loved on me.  I remember these people well.  I also remember the ones who chose to say non-loving words or ask ridiculous questions at a time when I didn’t need to hear it.  I’ve learned that I would much rather have a bleeding heart than a jaded one for I do not see it as a weakness.  Instead, I see it as a gift and that is why I’m having a super hard time wrapping my mind around how many Christians are coming to the defense of President Trump.

I have not seen one instance of him modeling the characteristics of Jesus.  Not one time. Instead, I feel that rooting for him is kind of like cheering on that popular high school football player even though he is a jerk off of the field.  Please, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want him to fail, I’m just ambivalent about how I feel regarding his success.

I’ve wondered why I don’t view Trump like some Christians do.  Maybe, I don’t get it. Maybe, I need to re-evaluate my spiritual relationship and faith.  Maybe, I am “liberal”….I know I’ve been called that a few times, recently.  Maybe, I’m not as patriotic as others.  Maybe, I’m just too much of a “flower child for God”.  I don’t know…maybe, I’m just a lousy Christian.

It is very hard to navigate this world, isn’t it?  It is a challenge to be “in this world but not of it”; especially when we are faced with what appears to be a lot of chaos.  We are asked to be salt and light, yet, my heart is anguished over the thought of how difficult it is to be this when we surround ourselves with others who look, believe and think just like us.  How can we seek the lost when we are caught up in our selfish desire to be comfortable?

The more I see what is happening with our world and the way people are deciding who is worthy of compassion, the more I find myself in love with Jesus; the more I just want to stick close to him; the more I know I need him.

I have had this image in my mind of Jesus hanging on the Cross and looking out among the crowd of people gathered to watch him die.  It brings tears to my eyes.  He gave his life for all of us – every single person regardless of race, gender, and beliefs – and here we are, debating about who we should show mercy to.

I know we are flawed and yet, I also know that Jesus is not because his mercy is not selective.  While on the Earth, he showed it to so many in need and to those whom others rejected.  Even as he was in agony and being mocked, he said these words:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

I am sure that I will post things and delete them because I know that it is better to be silent than unkind.  I’ll probably still be a bit snarky because humor is one of my defense mechanisms (a coping skill I developed over the years).  I know I might make me some people uncomfortable or angry or whatever, but I will always try to LOVE like Jesus; regardless if someone is “worthy” of it.

Jesus literally was a bleeding heart – both while walking on this Earth and while hanging on the cross.  Of all the confusion going on, this is something I will never be confused about.

Friends, even if we don’t agree about politics, can we at least agree to love like Jesus?

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This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.  (1 John 3:16-18)

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:33)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18-19)

Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. {my response about Trump’s victory}

Like a lot of Americans, I woke up on November 9th feeling a bit shocked about the result of the election.  Before I go any further with this, please know that I am not anti-Republican at all.  My thoughts have little to do with which political party won.  I honestly wish that, in American politics, we did not know which party the candidates represent.

I grew up and still live in the Midwestern section of the USA.  I was taught to work hard, respect others, and that democracy matters.  I completely respect everyone’s right to varying political differences.  I guess I’m just bewildered and a bit fearful about how this whole election went down and weary of our soon-to-be President.  It was probably the worst and most divisive one I have experienced in my adult life.  That is quite sad to me.

I spent some time praying, thinking, consoling with others who shared their concerns and fears, and, with a sense of humor, talking to my parents about building a bunker as part of our Thanksgiving Day festivities.  (I mean…just in case, right?!)

I believe that love does trump hate and took the time to randomly message a friend of mine to let her know that I love her, cherish her friendship, I admire her tenacity, and to encourage her to continue reaching out, in love, to the homeless population in our community.

I listened to the song, “Man of Sorrows” and it just kicked me right in the gut.  I wept.  I thought of Jesus and the kindness and mercy He showed to those who differed from Him.  I praised Him and sat in awe about the power of love that He has shown in my life and in the lives of so many others.

I thought about how He approached the woman at the well.  He knew her history and current situation; yet, He did not shove her away.  I recalled His interaction with the leper.  He touched him.  He did not run from him.  He did not fear him or reject him.  I thought about His healing of the blind man, and His seeking out the woman who touched his garment.  I know that the Savior I believe in and have entrusted my eternity with never turns away from the hurting and the least of these.

As we head into 2017 with a new President, my deepest prayer is that we will choose to turn away from fear.  We will run like Christ did towards those whom others have shunned.  We will stand in faith and belief that our witness can make a difference.  We will not stand for hatred, selfishness, exclusion, or discrimination.

As a result of this election (and other issues going on around the world), I will continue to intentionally teach my children that living out faith by showing kindness, being merciful, fighting for justice, and walking humbly is what our country and the world needs.

We need Jesus.  We need to be His hands and feet.

We need to prove to the world that we want to love as He did.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8