The title of this blog was inspired from a conversation I recently had with a friend regarding current political issues. And No, this is not written to ignite a debate or what political party you confirm your allegiance to. The main issue is, I can’t help but wonder if we realize how we sound. All of us. Red. Blue. Pink. Purple. Grey. Polka dot.
We may list reasons for our responses, such as, “Well if the democrats / republicans weren’t a bunch of losers, I wouldn’t have to say these things.” “If they knew what was right for them, they wouldn’t try to do that, it’s their own fault, serves them right.”
The line my friend used was along the lines of “I think as Christians we have lost or lack our compassion chip.” That stuck with me. How am I utilizing my compassion chip? Did I lose it and haven’t had the time to find it? Is it broken? Is it still receptive? Is my lack of compassion causing a failure in a much bigger circuit board that is affecting things I can’t even see?
If you ever want to stir the pot on Facebook share a video that says you don’t believe in building a wall at the border. Holy Moly. I have since deleted the post because I felt it sparked too much discord and tension. Because, as we all know, debating on social media gets us no where fast and really doesn’t make a difference at all. While others may be fine in sharing political things, and I am not saying to not hold true to what you believe in, but lesson learned, it is not for me.
What does make a difference is how we treat others and make them feel.
It is no secret our country seems to be more divided then ever before. You can almost tangibly feel it when you go outside. So we resort to our homes, behind our protected fire walls, in the safety of our couch, surrounded by like-minded folks. We draw battle lines on social media, coming against anyone who would dare speak against our own system, living in fear over what might happen.
What the political climate the past few months has done for me, has convicted me to my core in how I treat others and the acts of compassion and kindness I show.
I have had to ask myself questions like:
What am I doing to show kindness and compassion in my neighborhood? In my community? We have lived in this house now for a little over a year and I only know the name of one of my neighbors. That is so sad.
Am I working on compassion and unity as much as I am on trying to persuade others to my political beliefs?
Do I allow fear to override compassion?
Do I see others through my political believes or how God sees them?
Am I trying to find my identity in sources besides God’s word?
Am I guilty of spewing hate in the name of politics but playing the victim in the process?
Do I give to foreign missionaries and world-wide evangelism but fail to reach the mission field in my own back yard?
Do I have compassion on others as long as they think, look, act and speak as me?
Do I expect God to pour out His spirit yet have high demands on those in my community to conform to the “American” lifestyle before I will interact with them?
Rather then responding with always trying to get my point across, always win the argument and be the right one… I have to ask, Is what I am saying and doing done in love which promotes a spirit of unity?
If this makes you uncomfortable reading this, maybe that’s the point. I have been uncomfortable for months. I have been unsettled in my spirit. I have prayed about it. I have talked about it at length with my family. But its something deeper then just the current political climate.
As Brene Brown says, “People are hard to hate close up. Move in.”
You know why most people (including myself) don’t want to lean in and love? Because it takes work. It takes getting off Facebook where its easy to click “share” on that news story that agrees with your beliefs even at the risk of sparking a heated debate. It takes researching topics to their FULL extent and not taking every news story or opinion you see expressed on social media as gospel truth. It takes getting to know the next door neighbor who you know just moved here from another country. Or the person serving you food who may speak little English but be on their second job for the day because her husband, who was the bread-winner, was injured on the job and now she has to go out and take on double responsibilities.
Jesus was a radical in His day because He broke many of the laws and customs that the Jews held. He healed on the Sabbath. He ate with publicans and sinners. He spoke to the woman at the well who had been in multiple relationships. If Jesus were here today and did something totally against what I have created in my mind as what I thought He should do, what would my response be?
I want to be known in history as someone who overcame the confines of a country in political turmoil and had her compassion chip fully charged.
These questions have compelled me to want to reach out more. Let my light shine more. Be kind to others. I have started researching volunteer organizations to get involved with in my community. I am determined to make more of an effort to get to know my neighbors. I am tired of getting frustrated over the total lack of compassion & kindness I see expressed and I don’t want my compassion chip to not be receptive anymore.
So my continued message to myself is: Get out there and Love. Love like you mean it. Be kind. Smile at strangers. Call an old friend. Send a card in the mail to someone. Get off social media and keep that compassion chip charged.