i have a problem. a big problem.
i, who espouse peace, have discovered i am not much different than the haters.
and that is not good.
because i believe the truths in the bible, that puts me on the same level as the guy who carried the A-15 into the bar in Orlando and killed 50 innocent people.
it’s all the same in God’s eyes.
the thoughts, the actions. the things done in secret as well as those done in public. all the same. all equal. jimmy carter knew that. remember his honesty about lust and adultery. it made him the brunt of many jokes. i thought him heroic and profound.
the shooting in Orlando triggered my thinking. as that awful tragedy has brought out the haters of all that is supposedly Muslim and supposedly Christian, LGBT, pro or against Obama,progressives and conservatives, pro or anti guns… the whole drill. senators quote bible verses, presidential candidates say “I told you so”, Fox news-lovers regurgitate nonsense (it seems to me) and Franklin Graham steps in and causes all kinds of commotion in God’s name.
i move from shock (not again!) to sadness at the senseless loss of life to anger. i fume. i fret. i grow irate. i respond to posts with brittle, harsh words. i long to smash things and shout at people who have the audacity to think differently than me…those who obviously are so very wrong in their thinking.
and then i see it.
i’m just like those i despise. self-righteous. judgmental. condemning. ready to erase any opposition i can. with my voice, not a weapon. yet my tongue can be weapon. and my words can be vicious.
that is not who i want to be.
and here i am, just beginning a study on contemplative prayer. moving towards developing a deeper, richer inner life. making time for silence and quiet in my life. i’m taking intentional steps to draw closer to God as I know God, in order to become more of who God created me to be.
and into this contemplative state crashes vengeance and anger and impatience and loathing.
i am that house divided and i’m falling.
what is the right response? my friend Joss reminds me to love. that starts with the littlest of things. to refrain from belittling others. not to poke fun of someone–the way they dress. the news they watch. the junk they believe. at the very basic level, she says, we can begin to build love. then that love grows. and grows.
how did Jesus continue to care for the poor and the sick, those who were hurting and those in distress when so many around him jeered, threatened and eventually killed him?
he went away and spent time in prayer for one. he connected to his source of strength and purpose and got what he needed from there. he had support. 12 odd fellows who, though they didn’t fully understand what he was about, ate, slept, traveled and worked with him day in and day out. he was not alone. Jesus turned the other cheek and kept on with his mission. he loved and loved and loved and loved. he brought people to life through his actions, his words, his being.
that’s who i want to be like. not a self-righteous bitch on Facebook who answers (what i deem to be) stupid comments with cutting words. not a woman who, with her tongue and her ideas,disturbs the airwaves, internet, breathing space of those who don’t see the world as i see it.
it’s time i turn my sword into ploughshares. seek peace and pursue it. not accept the awfulness in the world but find a more effective way to deal with all that i see is wrong.
it’s time to put the A-15 down. to turn my words of anger into prayers for all. it’s time to shut up and start putting forth prayers for this world of ours.
Lord, have mercy.