Is it always necessary to choose a side? Are there sides or is it less clear than that? I really don’t think any hot button issues have two sides. But we treat them that way and we’ll never get any where.
I believe we need more “Bridge – thinkers.” People who can listen to all the rhetoric and find points at which we can build bridges to each other. For the most part, many of us are just spewing the same stuff at each other over and over like so many arrows at a target. And so many of them missing altogether on all sides, or worse, wounding any possibility of healing and actual progress.
Here’s an interesting quote which I think is a perfect summary of what’s happening – an admonishment for everyone speaking out really – what’s happening is
…deepening cultural divisions and making the kid a hero among conservatives, because they see the left is less interested in what actually happened than forcing it into a particular ideological narrative. And that just undermines our credibility to be moral teachers and makes people outside our bubble less receptive to our message on racism.
– Christopher Adams (a FB friend)
How do we talk differently? How do we speak bridges? I believe that’s exactly what Jesus did when he showed up. He learned the language (so to speak) and he came up with ways to engage, to challenge, to invite, to consider. Jesus certainly spewed rhetoric at times (not to be sacrilegious – I mean it was HIS rhetoric). And that was always targeted at those who were hard of hearing – not physically… well maybe, but you know that’s not what I’m saying. His harshest words were for those who claimed to be religious and pious and didn’t have a clue how to be loving and gracious and were looking for ways to argue with him.
But for those who had an ear to hear, he was telling stories. He was telling stories that they knew and related to. He crafted tales that they understood and experienced firsthand. And he told them of a way to live – a better way, the way of love.
Every time I post anything political or any hot button topic on social media, I regret it. you’d think I learned. My husband points out that my news feed on Facebook is mostly cute, fuzzy animals any more. I snooze or unfollow everything else. It isn’t that I’m trying to be ignorant. I’m not trying to hide from reality. Believe me, there are times I think of ways to do that and they are all too appealing.
And there are those who are upset by what seems like my attempt to silence people – I can see how it looks like that. But I’m tired of the internet fighting. It doesn’t get us any where. It just doesn’t. that doesn’t mean you stop thinking and reading and considering. It means you stop JUST thinking and reading and considering and you go out and find out more – ways to get involved, ways to actually change something, people who are moving forward and engaging in productive conversations. People building bridges.
As a Christian, I strongly believe that we are called to be bridge builders. If you do a search on my blog for “bridge” you’ll find many posts. Like this one: https://robinwootton.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/building-or-burning/
My prayer must start with me. Jesus, change MY heart. Show ME where I’M wrong. Point me to the places I’m clinging to in my self-righteousness and arrogance. And then point me to your grace and mercy even for that. Remind me you died for me. Remind me you’re pleading on my behalf before the Father. And then remind me you are also pleading for my sisters and brothers who I strongly disagree with – that you died for them too, that you call us to love well and to walk forward in unity. Remind me that unity is not just agreeing on things, but on agreeing on the most important thing and that YOU do all the work. Work now, even now, dear God. Make us bridge builders. Keep us from stagnating and stalemating. Help us to see all others the way you see them. Help us to care less about the issues and more about the people behind them. renew our hearts for BEING your followers, and then calling others to follow because of our great love. For your sake. For the sake of the Bride of Jesus. For the sake of the kingdom. Amen.