I have been pretty quiet as the world has navigated some difficult things.
Mostly though I have been quiet because that is what I have felt the Lord tell me to do. If you know me at all, you know that I was there before the Lord saying “ But Lord! Hard Things of Faith! We are living through some of the hardest things some people have ever seen and you want me to be quiet?!?”
When Coivid-19 broke out in the United States, a woman I know sent me a message. She sent me a message and the gist if it was “Rest”. She told me she was praying for me and then told me specifically what she was praying for me. That is the mark of someone who has really been praying for you, they tell you what they are praying for. She gave me the scripture verse and then told me to rest.
As I have watched the world fall out over a virus and then my homeland fall out over racism, I have been socially quiet. I am grieved over everything we have seen since the beginning of Covid-19 through the death of George Floyd and even until today. My heart just hurts.
I have been having a lot of conversations offline, trying to get perspective, trying to understand everyone’s opinion. Trying to sort out my own thoughts, perspectives, and opinions. I have spent a lot of time before the Lord, asking him to examine my heart and fix all that is wrong with it. I do this because change starts within our own hearts first.
I went to church yesterday morning. Wait, I need to repeat that.
I went to church yesterday!
The emotion in that alone could be talked about for days, probably weeks. To be able to worship corporately with the Body of Christ. Talk about lifting my soul and giving me perspective. The pastor talked of all that is going on in our country and this is what he said:
“Get off the sidelines and get in the game.”
“Ok, Lord, how do I get in this game?” As soon as I asked the question, the pictures of the unborn flooded my mind. The women standing in front of me weeping over their abortion filled my mind. The fight against abortion and the stigma of abortion were laid out in my thoughts. The quietness of his answer filled my spirit, “You are already in the game, in this desperate fight for life. You fight for those who have no voice, the oppressed, and the marginalized.”
Pastor Brady continued to preach and I continued to search my heart, pleading for the Lord to tell me what to do with this invisible backpack of privilege people tell me I have, but to be honest, I don’t understand. The Lord was silent.
One of my core beliefs is a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Silence in the face of evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
I am all about the fight. I like to think I was born to fight, much more than I was created to love and certainly much more than to be quiet. Give me an injustice to fight and I am all over it. In all of my Philly flesh, I want to be a bull in someone else’s china shop in the name of injustice! Love is a much harder task for me, love requires a quiet gentleness that is not natural for me. This is the place of great struggle for me because over and over again the Lord has commanded me to show grace and love in the face of adversity and to love my neighbor. My heart is for revenge but the Holy Spirit within me is for love. Forget about the war in our country right now, I can’t get past the war in my own heart.
Then Pastor Brady said something else:
“The needs I am responsible for are the needs I know about.”
I could cry, even as I type these words. You see, for this fixer, I want to fix the world! I want to fight Every. Single. Injustice. In the world! I want to right all that is wrong. The Lord has to remind me often that 1. I don't have that kind of power or influence, 2. It is not my job to fix the world.
So then I asked the Lord: “Lord, tell me what to do, and I will do it! There is so much pressure to address the sin of racism from everyone, tell me how Lord!”
This is what I heard in my spirit: Tell them about ME, tell them about SIN, tell them about the GOSPEL because that is the only way to overcome the sins of the world.
Ordinarily, to share with you such intimate time with the Lord is not my style because it is incredibly vulnerable for a whole host of reasons, but today, this is how I address the issues raging in our country.
Jesus crucified is the message. Jesus died for the sins of man, so that we could be forgiven and so that we could overcome. Those who chose to accept this are freed from the slavery of sin and welcomed into the Kingdom of our Most High God. The Lord laments over the sins of man, but he long-suffering with us so that all will have ample opportunity to chose Christ. He does this because he loves us.
My ongoing prayer continues: Lord, show me where and how to do your will in the face of injustice.