I just took down a Facebook post from an hour ago. I was rather straight-forward about my growing frustration with our political reality. After a few comments I realized my desire to “voice” my heart to defend people who have been disrespected, marginalized and even dehumanized was tangled up in a seemingly no-win debate among people - who really care about our country. Because my desire wasn't to begin a political conversation, creating side-taking banter about candidates or partisan preferences, I deleted my post.
Then, I decided to post what's really key to me. What I’d most like to say - in a political conversation or not. This certainly isn’t complete, but this is my heart…
I want to keep learning to love more like Jesus. I'm still more self-focused and self-protective than I care to admit.
I want to respect people I don't understand. And that's a whole bunch of people. I know I can do better. And I hope those who don't understand me will do the same for me.
I want to speak with empathy, not judgment. I never want my voice for justice to be mistaken as self-righteous judgment of people made in God's image.
I want to be inclusive in the way I love, embrace, accept and defend others - especially the marginalized, the forgotten, the judged, the dehumanized - in the same way God includes me and every other human on the planet.
I want to find appropriate ways to voice my own disappointment, hurt and anger about systems and kingdoms of our world that marginalize, dehumanize, disrespect and alienate lovely human beings whose daily struggles are about how they are perceived in their sexuality, their ethnicity, their religion, their mental health, their physical safety, their physical hunger and a lack of means to survive.
I want to be in relationships where, together, we can graciously and kindly and respectfully wrestle, voice differences and hug each other when we're done. I know that really happens best in community, face-to-face.
I want to wrestle with the truth a long time before I claim to know it and speak it like I have it all figured out.
I want to take down my posts that don't help me speak to love, justice and care.
I want to journey - knowing it's about the process, the learnings, the company, the way of Jesus - rather than plowing through an agenda to a destination that misses loving people along the way.
I want to always hold LOVE at the center, as my center. I want to live and speak and love the Jesus way. I'm still on the journey.
I don’t know how you voted or how you’ll vote. I don’t need to know. What I do know is that it’s still so crazy easy for me to lose sight of LOVE when I think I’m trying to Love.
I want to keep learning how to live this “with-God life” Dallas Willard wrote and spoke about. Actually, Jesus talked about it every time he spoke of the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom that is explicitly different than earth’s kingdoms, even the USA. A Kingdom that is still marked by defending the weak, lifting the fallen and mending the broken. A Kingdom whose center is LOVE - and all the sacrifice that defines it. All the sacrifice that defines the way of Jesus.
The way I mark my ballot this fall does matter. But the way I vote with my words, actions, motives and my every day life matters so much more.