I used to write/share/like more political statements on Facebook, but I stopped when I moved back to NC. And even though I feel very strongly about certain issues that come up, I don’t regret that boundary that I set for my social media use; I have a lot less stress in my life because of it. Judge me if you wish. I understand silence is being on the side of the oppressor, and I am convicted to find another way to speak and act against injustice, but for now-my not posting political stuff on Facebook is “a thing.” (Believe it or not, Facebook is not the only platform for seeking justice.)
Yet when I get a few minutes or something comes across my Newsfeed that strikes me as interesting, I read (or rather, skim) through it (then read it over again if it’s compelling). I have read all kinds of posts about HB2 in North Carolina, both from friends/colleagues outside the state and those in (on all sides). I have read posts about FUMC Charlotte hosting a gay wedding, again, from those outside the state and those in (on all sides). I have read posts about the upcoming General Conference (UMC), on plans and ways forward (or backward) and people’s fear and distress about what will happen (or what won’t happen), again from all sides. I am blessed to have friends (and family) who believe differently than me about just about everything under (and over) the sun (and heck, the sun itself). I am blessed to have friends (and family) whose beliefs are
right similar to mine (haha, just had to throw that in there).
My heart hurts. What a cliche saying. Really, though. My soul is deeply troubled by the rhetoric that pits people against one another, that demeans and objectifies people, casting them as the “other” – the one to be against, because they’re against us (and therefore, against God). From all sides, people say “those ___________(Progressives, Evangelicals, Conservatives, Liberals) – they’re all off-the-wheels crazy and misguided.” Of course, everyone who doesn’t believe what I believe is wrong and against God and therefore should be shunned and defrocked (or should just leave the church and go elsewhere, but I can stay, because I’m right).
“NO! STOP IT!” – Jesus said, to Peter, after chopping the High Priest’s servant’s ear off.
“People will know that you are my followers by the way that you
chop your enemy’s ear off
Write blog posts
Comment angrily on others’ posts
kick people out of the church because they don’t agree with you
love one another.”-John 13:35.
The devotion today in the Book of Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals shares this verse from Psalm 133: “Oh, how good and pleasant it is: when brethren live together in unity!” and this greeting: “I greet the Christ in you, my sister: I greet the Christ in you, my brother.”
I pray for all going to General Conference. I pray for the General Assembly in North Carolina. I pray for all the protesters who are doing what they know how to do to act for justice. I pray for my family, friends, and neighbors who have been hurt to the point of leaving the Church and I pray for those who continue to participate in doing harm. I pray that we can STOP the violence of our thoughts, words, and actions towards others. I pray that we can learn to speak the truth in love in a way that doesn’t do more harm to our neighbor who disagrees with us.
“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may.” – John Wesley
May you STOP before you cut off someone’s ear, before you speak, write, or act, and consider – is this doing harm? is this doing good? is this honoring the way of Love that Christ calls us to?
May God’s grace be greater than our own doing.
May Christ’s love light the way.
May the Spirit strengthen us for the journey.