This is the conclusion I’ve reached.
Disclaimer: I’m not sure where I’m gonna go with this. I’m mostly trying to make sense of some of the things I’m feeling.
Yesterday, I made the mistake of turning on the news for the first time in, probably, about two weeks. Man, did I pick a day to get back into finding out what’s going on in the world.
People really are the worst. I mean, I have that thought go through my head enough times when I’m just driving down the road. I didn’t need it hammered into my skull by current events. Yet, here we are.
People are beautiful. We’re capable of so much, yet we squander it. We have the capacity to love one another. We have the ability to treat one another with kindness and respect. So why is it so hard for us to see that? Why is it so hard for us to live that?
Because people are also flawed. We’re selfish. We’re hateful. We’re opinionated. We are so often under the impression that my way is the right way and if you think differently you’re simply wrong.
We refuse to speak calmly. We refuse to listen. We rush to judgment. And why? All because we’re different. We look different. We sound different. We think different. And if we’ve been taught anything in our lives, it’s that if it’s different than us, it’s scary.
Differences are supposed to be beautiful. Differences are supposed to make us unique. Differences are supposed to make us special.
When I was a kid in church, I sang in the children’s choir. Every year, the church would come together for a spring concert. Children of all ages were given the chance to sing a solo in front of the church. If you were old enough to speak, you were allowed to sing if you wanted to. In fact, I’m not sure that you were allowed to say no…
Anyway, one of the simplest songs that you would hear from a 3 or 4-year-old is one that I can still hear a 3 or 4-year-old singing in my head. The lyrics just said: “Special, special, I am very special. God made me that way.” Like I said… simple. It’s not intended to blow anyone’s mind theologically. It’s meant to help a 3 or 4-year-old understand that there is something unique about them and that God created them to be that way.
And I don’t mean to get preachy. I’m mostly just rambling because, since watching the news last night, I’ve done nothing but shake my head. The words I write here aren’t going to change anything. I’m not going to get on Twitter and copy some hashtag and pat myself on the back, believing I’ve made a difference.
Because maybe I can’t make a difference. I’m just one person.
What I can do is do my best to follow the example that was shown to me in scripture by Jesus. I can’t be Jesus, but I can try to follow His lead. Jesus showed compassion to everyone. Jesus showed love to everyone. Not just to the people He knew. Not just to the people who were like Him. EVERYONE.
Who am I to do less?
I’m flawed. I’m broken. I’m weak. I’m judgmental. I’m hateful. But Jesus shows me that I am capable of so much more. I have the capacity to love. I have the ability to treat others with kindness and respect. My flaws… my brokenness… my weaknesses… my judgments… my hateful attitude… These things may cause me to stumble. But they don’t mean I have to remain fallen.
I know that my faith isn’t something that comes up much on this blog. But when it does, I don’t intend to apologize for it. Because, the thing is, I believe that, left to my own devices, I would absolutely remain fallen. I would remain flawed and broken and weak and judgmental and hateful without remorse. I believe that any good that people see in me comes from God. Any joy that people see in me comes from Jesus. Any compassion that people see in me comes from the Holy Spirit living in me.
I’ve literally been staring at this screen for half an hour after that last paragraph. I’m not sure how to wrap all this up. We just have to do better. I have to do better.