Meet Me in the Middle?

In the past week we have witnessed what I can only describe as an eruption. In the most poisonous election cycle I have ever personally witnessed, there was little surprise that there would be outcry from one side or the other.

I have tried, for the most part, to stay away from the political discussions on social media and have even regretted most of the in-person discussions of these things that I have happened into along the way. It seems that I have, more than any other point in my life, a much broader spectrum of friends with a vast array of perspectives.

I have friends and relatives that were utterly devastated by the election results last week and I have more than my share of folks I know and love who were absolutely elated at the outcome. I also know a lot of folks like me that felt as though voting was trying to choose whether to get run over by a bus or a truck.

In all of the aftermath of this election cycle, there is something that I find so incredibly troubling. I suppose it’s not new. Perhaps the polarization that happens so much more rapidly in this social media society is merely amplifying what has always been. But my heart breaks as I see people I care deeply about demonizing other people I care deeply about simply because they disagree.

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Investing My Two Cents

The world of social media is ablaze with controversy this week. I have friends on every side of the current issue – and I love and appreciate each and every one. I appreciate the many and varied opinions. I try to listen and understand the differing perspectives.

Some are harsh and judgmental. Ok, most are harsh and judgmental. We tend to either be condemning of the individual concerned in the controversy or the people who disagree or denounce that person’s choices.

And, believe it or not, I get it. Both sides have some valid points and, most of the time, neither is very compassionate toward the other or is willing to listen.

There are a couple of questions that keep stirring in my mind. First, why is it considered hateful to disagree with someone’s life choices – particularly if they insist on proclaiming those choices to the world?

Secondly, and probably more important for the people to whom I have the opportunity to speak, why would we expect someone we don’t know to listen to our convictions about their lifestyle?

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Still

Perched upon my porch as the sun peeks over the trees this morning, the ominous prayer list before me seems to weigh fifty pounds. The contradiction of the glorious peace of the birdsongs and the gentle shaking of leaves in the wisps of breeze with the sense of chaos at the recognition of so many needs around me is…huge.

It seems like there are moments like this from time to time when I have this angst – most of it not even for myself but for those I care for and with whom I serve – that drives me to roll up my figurative sleeves and dive into the hard work of prayer. Yet, so often in these moments, when I begin to think that I simply must, I hear in my spirit that sweet, gentle whisper that I know so well.

“Be still.”

But I have all of these people I need to talk to You about.

“Be still.”

But I have to discuss these things with You if I am going to be a faithful pastor.

“Be still.”

But –

“Be still.”

 

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