Yesterday was a day that will go down in history for America. A day that we saw deep brokenness continue to surface in this country. A day that we saw government officials hide and flee out of fear for their safety. A day that we saw certain groups becomes silent and others who had an uproar. A day filled with violence and pride. A day where confederate flags were flown which cause significant, deep pain in so many because of what it represents in history.
For me, yesterday was a day filled with deep emotions. I found myself filled with anger and sorrow simultaneously. By the end of the day, Jono found me on my knees with my face to the ground and tears flowing in the middle of our living room. What hurt me the most was seeing people who claimed they were Christians and had plastered the name of Jesus on posters as an excuse to cause an uproar and violence that was not rooted in love. As someone who has close friends who have either left the Church or do not believe in Jesus because of the actions, hypocrisy and nationalistic mindset of American Christians- I was infuriated. When I saw pictures and videos of people holding up flags and posters that was referring to all voices being heard, it broke my heart thinking about my black and brown brothers and sisters who experience this daily, but in some form feel like it’s their norm. It made me really question if people who claim to be followers of Jesus also realize that Jesus was a refugee the first few years of his life, that He was not white, He did not grow up affluent, and that He definitely wasn’t American.
But even though my thoughts and beliefs are wildly different from those who decided to make the choices they did at the Capital yesterday, I will still choose to love them. And for me that is much easier said than done. I have all the patience in the world for a four year old who doesn’t know how to read, but I run out quick when it comes to adults who don’t accept that privilege exists in our country. I can explain over and over to ten year olds about vowel digraphs and grammar rules and maintain a smile on my face, but I lose it when it feels like adults cannot see past their own world and acknowledge that other people’s experiences are not the same as their’s.
And so yes- for me it takes a whole new level of love that can only come from God for me to be able to navigate living in this country in today’s day and age and maintain love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
But being called to love doesn’t make us soft. It means speaking up and standing up for injustice, not for privilege. It means being a voice to the voiceless, not making our voices louder based on our emotions. It means being an advocate to those around us.
At the same time, being called to love does make us talk and act different than this world tells us to. It looks like still holding the door open for someone that doesn’t look like us. It means still engaging in positive conversations with our loved ones even when we don’t see eye to eye. It means we choose to love instead of “being right” depending on the situation.
God never said it would be easy to be His hands and feet in the world we live in. But that is the commission He gives us. He calls us to raise up Christ- like leaders who make it on earth as it is in Heaven. The world is to know that we are Christ’s disciples by our love for one another– not by our instagram posts, not by what neighborhood we live in, not by how many followers we have, not by how good we are at our job or how much money we make, not by what car we drive, not solely by how much money we give…but by our love. God commands us to love another just as He has loved us.
So what does this look like day in and day out in your life?