It seems the gradual reopening of our state has been more like an awkward bumper car experience. And I never liked bumper cars.
All my memories of this amusement park staple is of sparks flying over my head and me getting rammed into a corner where I remained stuck until they blew the whistle and we were instructed to exit our cars and leave the premises.
Best part of the ride.
Someone mentioned recently to think back to that first day we heard that life as we knew it was shutting down.
I remembered Russ getting word he would be working from home. Our church classes and services were canceled. People were suddenly purchasing all the toilet paper known to man and we didn’t know if the end of all things had come or it would just be a few weeks.
We adapted to shelter in place, worried for those whose place was anything but shelter…and moved from day to day.
Each of us can fill in from our own experiences.
The news and social media feeds can tell the story of even more sorrow and more upheaval of all kinds and exposures of broken systems in the past few weeks. Many voices speaking many things.
There is not a corner of the world that has not participated in all that has happened in the past few months. And all kinds of sides taken and lines drawn and in a day and age when a person’s picture can be posted above quotes made, I prefer to hear actual people telling me their story.
As I type, I can hear possible criticisms from all sources and I want to censor my words so as not to offend anyone because I said too much or not enough.
I am trying to listen well. I want to hear but I also want to discern.
I want to love and encourage but right now even words of encouragement seem to be judged and critiqued and weighed on uneven scales.
Perhaps you feel like me, cornered and surrounded by flying sparks and the incessant ramming into by others who seem to know how to join in to the current setting.
Can I say there is a place of balance between cowering in the corner and engaging full on into the middle of the arena?
I am speaking to those who follow Christ when I say that the best way to represent Him is to know Him and then apply His ways to our journey today. Really it is only His view of my heart and words that matters.
Only God knows the heart and the motives of the heart behind all the comments flying around and only God knows my heart.
It occurred to me yesterday as I was working in the yard and I was praying for understanding on how to speak hope and life into all the pain I am seeing around me, that when Jesus met with the Samaritan woman it was clear that the Jews and the Samaritans were at odds.
They had a history of separation and they both had reasons to offer as explanations that involved their beliefs about God. (and I KNOW there is way more to this and I am simplifying to make a point because this isn’t a theology class)
The point is they didn’t get along and yet Jesus went right into Samaria.
He went where He didn’t “belong” and He waited for a chance to make conversation with one woman in a divine appointment. A personal conversation. A respectful conversation that allowed questions and answers and truth without judgment.
And so I choose to proceed with an eye for where I can engage in relational ways. To be open to the possibility that I will be rejected for my efforts, but I may also build bridges that change lives.
I am listening to what God whispers to MY heart and I am not offering any of the suggestions as ways for YOU.
YOU need to talk to Him and work it out with HIM and do what HE tells YOU to do to bring about restoration and healing in YOUR sphere of influence <3
We have been given the blessed opportunity to be His hands and feet to a hurting world. This is the ministry of the church as we share the good news of Jesus Christ.
My prayers are for each of us to fulfill the calling and purpose we have been given and to know His peace and comfort, to hear clearly His voice speaking into these times, and for boldness and courage to do the next right thing <3