Friday, November 11, 2016

What are We Going to Do Now?

If you have been a reader of my blog for any amount of time, you know that never created the blog to be anything other than a dumping ground for the thoughts in my head in regards to my children. I avoid politics like the plague. Lately my children aren't taking up enough of my thought space, but I don't think that is the reason that I am so troubled by the last few months. I think it is because my fellow parents of transracially adopted children see life through different lenses than we used to when we were "just a white family."

I want to make sure and post that I am not trying to start an argument and I would prefer not to have those of you who disagree with me further alienate people I love with your comments.... I'm just trying to be the voice of reason somewhere in the middle of all this.

I understand why people voted the way that they did. I understand that there are many fine people who voted for Trump (one of them could be me, because I have not yet revealed to many who I voted for). What I am having trouble understanding is that in voting for Trump it appears that most people are acting as though they no idea that it would cause people to be afraid or feel threatened if he were elected.

It seems pretty dismissing to me to simply cry, "Sore Losers" when so many are fearing for their safety. Saying things like, "They shouldn't be afraid, that's dumb" really isn't helpful. Fear isn't necessarily rational. If you are really interested in why people are afraid, Shannon, a fellow adoptive parent, wrote this on her blog yesterday. I thought she summed it up very well.

Let me try and make this make sense to you. Let's say you have red hair and there was a candidate out there who talked about getting you out of the country because of your red hair. If half of the country voted for that candidate, as a red head it would be easy to conclude that all those who voted for him must agree with him and want you gone. Think about how that would make you feel. It wouldn't be that easy to get up the next morning feeling positive about your future, or comfortable with the people around you.

But I'm getting off the point that I was attempting to make today. My point is that we, as a church, let this happen. Christians allowed us to end up with two candidates and most people said that they weren't pleased with the choices they had. It wasn't as though someone from another country dropped the two of them off and said that we were forced to vote for one or the other. WE let that happen. As a nation we CHOSE them as the two best people to run for the presidency of our country.

My wise husband said that this election is not the cause of serious issues in our country, it is a symptom of something that has been an underlying theme for a long time.

So that happened, and we had this horrible election season while Christians on either side became less and less tolerant of the other. I have talked to many on both sides who absolutely CANNOT understand how anyone could vote for the other candidate. And so we have growing division between us.

And now that the election is over, we point fingers at each other and fail to take a moment to try to understand the other side. We are still so busy arguing that that is ALL we are doing.

If there was ever a time where our country needs the church it is now. People are hurting, people are afraid, people are angry, and people are confused. What we have to offer is exactly what they need. As Christians we are supposed to be people of love, grace, mercy, peace and hope. Those are exactly what we need.

So instead of continuing to talk about how one side or the other was stupid, or insensitive, or naive, or selfish or whatever words you have come up with, what if we literally spent our time trying to figure out how we can unify the church and how we can bring healing to our land?

We can say that God is on the throne, but if we are going to talk about that, shouldn't we pay attention to what we are told to do in Scripture: To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with him? (Micah 6:8)

I know I don't have all the answers. But I do know the following:

1) I need to find ways to show the world that all white Christians do not hate. Period. All Christians do not hate people of color, immigrants, and a whole other long list of people that our president elect has said hateful things about over the past several months.

2) I need to seek to understand rather than to be understood.

3) I need to continue to work tirelessly for organizations that minister to those who are less fortunate than I, that demonstrate racial reconciliation, that care for the marginalized, and that are motivated by love and grace.

4) I need to find ways to work towards unity in the church.... the song "They will know we are Christians by our love" is one I wouldn't be singing today for fear that anyone outside of the church who heard me would laugh at the thought. We are completely doing the opposite of the words of Jesus' prayer in John 17:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

I believe the opposite is true: If we are not one, the world will not believe that God sent Jesus to earth. Lack of unity in the church is the opposite of evangelism.

5) I need to humble myself, pray, and seek God's face more than I ever have before.

Wake up Church! We cannot afford to spend another day arguing on Facebook or Twitter. It's going to take all kinds of small actions by each of us around the country to make a difference and we need to start doing them RIGHT now. Write a kind note to someone you disagree with to tell them you still love them. If you are white, find a ministry where you can volunteer to work with people who are very different from you so that they can see that you are not the stereotype that they have formed during the election season. Give to an organization that helps those who are hurting. Find groups in your community that are working towards racial reconciliation and join them in seeing that become a reality.

I'm not sure that there has ever been a time in history where God's people need to figure things out and fast. Half of this country is now defining white Christianity by the things said by Mr. Trump over the past year. That is NOT ok with me and I really hope that is not ok with you.

All i'm asking of you is to take a few minutes to stop and think about what God is calling you to do to get us out of the mess we find ourselves in.


FerJeniB said...

Claudia - I hear you! One of the most useful things that I have learned on my journey as a foster/adoptive parent is listening. Not just listening to words or tone, but listening to the heart. Many times my kids lash out with rage and anger when they are really afraid and can't express it. I feel like our whole country - both sides - are full of fear that is coming out sideways as rage, anger and hate. When we just all need to take a deep breath, admit our fears and listen without judgement. Sigh. This is a tall order and I am not sure it's possible. I'm going to keep praying, lead by example as best I can in my little corner of the world, and go hug my kids. - Hugs

Marci said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts,Claudia. I needed to hear this today!