(This post was written in August 2014 and posted today, January 2015.)
Is there such a thing as separation anxiety for mommas? Well, if so, I have it. I trust Ted and while I totally know he is capable of taking care of our kids, I may or may not have driven to the nearest McDonalds just 3 min from our house. I’m sitting outside in the parking lot, in our little station wagon. I bought a soda just so I didn’t feel like I was “stealing” their wifi and here I am. :)
While I want to write out some thoughts, I also feel apprehensive as I hop on my little wordpress app tonight. I always hope that the words the spill from my mind to my fingers to this blog will always encourage, inspire and uplift. I never want someone to leave feeling judged, wounded or condemned. With all of that at being said, please, heart my heart and understand that this all always falls back to me as well. I view my blog as a sort of online journal, so I feel everything I write pertains to me first and foremost and then to my readers if he/she so chooses.
I hop on Facebook here and there throughout the week, popping on to check in on friends and family from afar. While I am thankful for the creation of Facebook, and social media in general, as a tool to stay connected, etc… I also have my own inner struggles with it. For me I try to avoid the things I most dislike about social media but sometimes my eyes fall upon words shared publicly and I’m just taken aback.
I tend to brush them off until I read public condemnation, judgements and even hatred strewn from the mouths, well I guess in this case the fingers, of Christians.
While I try to keep short accounts, I too struggle with judgement. I struggle with anger. I struggle with bitterness. I have even struggled with hatred.
Even today as I scrolled through Social media and could almost feel the anger and hatred of others pouring through the screen of my phone (dramatic, but in some cases, seriously!) I find myself struggling with judging those judging others.
How truly sad.
Then I thought, why the heck is this bothering me so much? And it hit me (in the shower before I left, where I have a few seconds to process life without a kiddos tugging on me :)
Are we missing the point? I wonder if Jesus watches with a grieving heart as His children battle EACH OTHER.
What triggered this inner struggle within me today was an article being thrown around Facebook for all to judge. An article a Christian wrote about things that singer/songwriter Michael Gungor has written on his personal blog – which he uses, much like mine, as an online journal. A lot of his honest thoughts, processing and struggles are written there, for all to see, and yes unfortunately, judge.
He doesn’t claim to be a theologian. He shared his thoughts. Then came the attacks. (“Yes, but he has a bigger platform on which he stands!” Does that give us more of a “right” to judge and attack?)
Why didn’t we see his most recent post, about his sweet daughter Lucie and how when she was born they were surprised to see that she has Down syndrome? Why didn’t we read and feel the grief and joy he/they simultaneously feel , as they are in the middle of trying to figure out how to best love and take care of their daughter. Why did we overlook this? Why do we feel we were given a right to overlook this but attack another area of his life?
A part of me grows defensive for the Gungors, and anyone who has been attacked in such dark times in their lives. My own pain in my own life surfaces when I think of what they are going through now, on top of grief/suffering. We had an incident where, in the time of our greatest loss – our Eisley-girl – we had a couple approach us about an issue they felt to address. They overlooked our suffering, and the season we were in, and decided that was the time to address an area they felt we needed to work in. The pain was incredible, and while we have had healing and Jesus himself has spoken to our hearts since then, iit still isn’t right … Why do we do this? I never wish this on anyone.
I can’t help but wonder what Jesus feels when He sees his Beloved tear apart another son or daughter. When he sees us miss the pint of His death and resurrection. When we misinterpret what it means to be the “kingdom of God on earth”.
I think I am more afraid of what it is doing to the world when we proclaim Christ while we turn and judge, or even hate, our brother. I am much more worried about that outcome than when we proclaim to be Christians and share our personal thoughts about scriptures (as Gungor did).
I am not saying that what was shared on his blog was 100% correct. I have my own personal opinions of it myself. But those opinions should never ever turn my Christ-proclaiming-self to turn against another. Tearing them apart.
And for what?
I’ve heard the argument that “we cannot turn a blind eye to sin” and while I can agree, to an extent (and to be honest, here I feel that’s out of context), I feel it is again, missing the heart of Christ. The sad thing about an argument like that is that I haven’t heard of those attacking, in this case Gungor, is a question I want to ask… You won’t “turn a blind eye to sin” but you’ll turn a blind eye to their suffering? To their pain and questions? You can attack an area that threatens you and you condemn and tear apart a brother, but you cannot put aside this judgement and see their struggle, their pain, their heavy burdens?
No. So instead…we alienate them. Turn them away. Share on the platforms we have…how far they’ve turned from Christ and how much we despise them and their “sin”. How fallen they are. Etc.
I wonder what would happen if we truly loved as Jesus did. Who are the people He hung around? Who are those whom He was with most of the time? The broken, the ones brave enough to ask the tough questions, and yes, the sinners (please note I’m not calling Gungor a sinner… )
I just truly feel like we are missing the point of what He came to accomplish. What does it say about who WE are and Who we follow when we decide to tear apart another… And another believer nonetheless.
And what about unbelievers? I often wonder what they think when they see Christians attacking each other? Oh my word. And how is that a testimony of who He is?!
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other
Let us be known by our LOVE for one another.” John 13:34-35 MSG
You don’t have to overlook the “sin”. But for the love, can we please also not overlook the suffering also?! And especially before the attacks. I actually believe that would limit the attacks. I believe that if we truly walked in love, we wouldn’t feel threatened by such things as this, we would reach out and BE CHRIST – walk among “them”, listen, hear their heart, their hurts, their suffering…
1If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 MSG
If we have not LOVE we have NOTHING.
Jesus, let us be known by our love for one another!
I saw and heard what “everyone” had to say about this topic and is this my take on it. I couldn’t be silent this time around… Suffering upon suffering is NOT uplifting and I do not wish this on anyone.