In light of some of the more sensitive things I’ve been talking about, it seems I might need to clarify my intentions. This will hopefully be the most political talk you’ll get out of me, but sometimes this corner of the Internet here (dangerous as it may be) is the only space we have to talk some things out, to connect. Sometimes. And for those times, here’s some things about me:
1. I did not vote for Donald Trump. I have many friends whom I deeply love and fully trust who did, and I sincerely understand why. I do not think they are foolish, or blind, or under informed. For most of us, it hasn’t changed our relationship at all. You won’t see me throwing stones at the man (and you can message me if you do). I may stand against some of his policies, as I would any President, but I have no desire to protest him personally or waste my time debating the ins and outs of his choices. There are people who feel called to this and we all have a different role to play. That one isn’t mine.
2. There are MANY political stances that I do not have a solid sold out philosophy on. There is too much to learn for me to have formed that yet. There is too much I do not know. Too many shoes I am not walking in. I have convictions. I have leanings. I have my experiences and the experiences of my friends, and I have the gospels to look upon for guidance in what I, a citizen and believer can do . Compassion and wisdom go hand in hand, and one without the other is lacking. I will always look to those outcast or oppressed and ask, “What does it look like to love them? What does the gospel look like for them right now, where they are?”
3. I value facts. I also recognize that we filter facts through our own worldview. You do it. I do it. The Pope does it. In this Information Age, facts vary. You may think my facts are crap and I may think your facts are crap, but that doesn’t mean that each of us didn’t do the legwork to shape our beliefs. I honor that.
4. What I hope to communicate always as a common thread throughout our discourse is the idea that *kindness and love and mercy* are things we, WE, democrats, republicans, libertarians, non partisans, Christians, atheists, Muslims, black, white, rich, poor can all get behind together. We can have conservative views on immigration and still care for our immigrants here and the refugees abroad. We can want justice and mercy while also using wisdom. We can want that Wall and still find ways to honor the 30-some million Hispanic Americans in our country. We can protest and also find solutions. It is easy to get distracted with debating policies, but I will always come back to this.
5. Peaceful protests are a vital part of our history and our democracy. I am not offended by them. I will not always join them. Sometimes I will. More often than not, I’d like to find tangible ways to extend care and acknowledgment to the people being affected. I don’t feel deeply called to picket, though that doesn’t mean I never will, or that I’m offended by it. I have dear friends who are called to this, and I give them all my high fives and bottled waters and peanut butter crackers. Peaceful protests are only divisive if you let them be.
6. I believe in storytelling. I believe social media can be a great place for storytelling. Sometimes I will overshare or use too much snark. I’m human and I get frustrated, cranky, and careless. Sometimes I get downright mad. Mama claws come out. It’s not always right, and it’s not my goal, but it will happen and I will likely apologize for it once I’ve realized it. I won’t let this keep me from the beauty that is storytelling. Let’s have some grace for each other.
7. There are times, on my own posts, when debate and disagreement are healthy and welcomed and appropriate. There are times I specifically ask for opinions and discourse. But there are other times when I want to protect the direction of the conversation, and I am okay with doing so by shifting the dialogue or deleting comments. It’s not because I don’t like being disagreed with. Private message me, start a new conversation separately, or find a way to say what you need to in a way that contributes to the theme of the original intent. But sometimes there just isn’t a place for spite and harsh words, especially if I don’t know you.
8. We are all so different. What one person feels the need to say out loud on social media, another person might be crossing a personal line doing so. As a friend pointed out recently, we all process differently. If I say things on Facebook, it doesn’t mean I expect you to do the same. If I am quiet on things, it doesn’t mean I expect you to not be loud. We. Are. Different. We don’t all have to fight equally as strong for the all of the same things. There are enough injustices to go around. I do not think you are a hypocrite if you went to the March for Life but didn’t show up at the airport protesting the immigration ban. We cannot be equally passionate and committed to all injustices. This is why we work together.
9. I want to see God’s heart for his people made known in both spiritual and physical ways. If I’m doing something you don’t like, at least know what my heart is behind it. You will most likely find me standing with and for the oppressed. I don’t always care to argue who is right or who is deserving or if it’s exaggerated or if it’s safe. This may sometimes look careless, but it’s where my heart is always drawn. I have wise and trustworthy people in my life. If I receive more criticism than I do people feeling called to think or act, you better believe I’ll be stepping back to reexamine. I have amazing leadership which I happily submit to. They’ve called me out before and they’ll call me out again.
The waters of our political climate are getting choppy. The current of brokenness and evil is getting stronger. I just want to get out of the boat and walk on the water towards the Peace in the storm as best I know how to, and I believe you want the same. I want to see people cared for as best we can, and I believe you want the same. So, let’s talk.