Once again God is using my kids as a tool for teaching me, growing me, stretching me…and it’s not comfortable.
Through their very different and very passionate and indeed honorable perspectives, I am challenged to look deeper at the circumstances our nation is facing and try to see past myself.
I hear people on one side of the political spectrum staunchly insisting that we must go and do what is needed to eradicate a hideous threat to peace and genuine freedom in the world. I’d like that… but… being a father of a soldier, I seem to see it differently than I did a few months ago. Before, saying “we must” didn’t risk what is precious to me.
I hear people on the other side of the spectrum feverishly arguing that we have a moral obligation as a nation to take in those who flee from the very threat that they have witnessed first hand and provide for their needs regardless of the cost. But, like many of us trying to make ends meet in a difficult economy, I don’t know how to squeeze more tax dollars out of what I have. Saying “we must” is easy when it doesn’t risk my comfort.
I think that’s the core of many of our issues. I am so quick to say “we” when I really mean “they.”
I believe we must care for the refugees…but not me.
I believe we must eradicate the agents of terror…but not me.
Somehow we have come to this place where our “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has become a “government instead of the people.” I hide in the collective “we.” And it seems rather crowded here.
My brother John penned these words many years ago and I still, despite all that God has done in my life, struggle to answer:
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?1 John 3.17
I want the world to be protected from terror. I want the needy to have their needs met.
I think WE should do what needs to be done…but not ME.
And as I look around, it seems I’m not alone.
God help us.