Divided We Fall

There's a heaviness in the air. You know the kind I'm talking about. It feels a lot like being a kid when you're in the car with your parents on a really long road trip and they're mad at each other and no one is allowed to talk. And the silence is deafening. I am quite possibly sick to death of the political chatter. The memes. The arguing. The name calling. The constant back and forth all over my social media feed. It. Is. Everywhere. And it's infiltrating my immune system. My stomach is in knots over the hate speech I see spilled out all over my newsfeed like red wine on a white rug.

Opinions are one thing, but core values and beliefs are another. And I see so much of this discussion over gender equality, religious equality and the like, but what about belief equality? What if I, at the core of who I am, made also like you, in the image of an almighty, all loving God, believe differently than you do? Beliefs I cannot shake and cannot change over the course of one Presidential cycle, much less after a rant from a friend on Facebook. Beliefs take decades to develop; formed after years of experience, heartache, triumph, joy, adversity and life. Not a single one of us was made the same, so why on earth are we so hell bent on getting everyone to think like we do?

We want equality, but we only want it the way we see it. We want diversity of religion, race, nationality and gender but not politically. Not idealistically. Because what would our world really look like if we all thought and believed in exactly the same way? Reminds me a lot of one of my favorite books, The Giver, where the people live in black and white. No color. No creativity. No diversity.  Everyone dresses the same, thinks the same, are assigned jobs from the elders and love is a word never uttered.

Because love is hard. It's not all butterflies and roses and singing in the rain. True love hurts and loving someone who is completely different than you is the hardest love of all. But it's the kind of love we are called to. It puts all differences aside and puts others first. It is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self seeking, it is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

The evil that is upon us is not because of one man in one office. It's between you and I and the words we exchange and the enemy has so strategically planted it here, where it can fester and grow and outlive every president in office. It can and will isolate us in our own beliefs and thought patterns, destroying families, friendships, businesses and communities. Our disagreements belong at the foot of the cross, not on the walls of our Facebooks. They belong in God's hands, with all the other burdens we feel inclined to carry every day. And believe you me, it is and is going to be a daily struggle for all of us. But, I am waking up every day, praying that I can walk in love. Praying for ears that listen, a heart that is open, for eyes that see the good and for hands that give.