I groaned today. Under the weight of the words I wished I could say and the weight of the words that had already been said. So much hating has been going on. I am not exempt.
I just feel better about myself because I hate the haters.
You know what I am talking about. Bullying and abuse and right and wrong. People standing up for themselves and standing up for others. I want to say something but it has all been said and then some.
I do not know how to make a stand when standing room only is the
flavor of the day.
(and that flavor is chicken)
Everybody standing for what they believe in. Or what
that guy believes in. Or what God believes in.
Let's just make sure that right is stood up for and let's really make sure that it is kept right.
Or what's the point?
Too complicated. I just feel more comfortable hating the haters. Simpler that way.
Not exactly proud of that.
I keep trying to reel myself back in but it only works until someone else starts talking and then I start to run the line again as I buck and pull against the current.
I like this fish picture because it describes my heart and how it feels hooked and helpless. I don't want to keep taking the shiny hate bait like a stupid fish. I want to reject the lures kerplunking from every side of the issue. I want to move beyond my instinct.
That is hard. My instinct tells me that hate is good. Hate is provision. It is the answer to what I have been looking for. This is especially convenient because what I have been looking for is answers.
Hate is the shiny answer to my hearts question about how to feel towards all the bullies. I don't have to point out the bullies. If I started detailing instances of bullying it would take all day and get really redundant. It isn't just about this current issue. Happens all the time...so I am just gonna try and give you a one sentence definition of bully.
If you are standing on your superior right and oppressing someone with that right, you are being a bully.
I really hate it when that happens.
I hate it so much that when I feel it happening I tend to bet on the underdog and hate the bully no matter how right the bully is in their position.
So, if I gotta put the hate somewhere, at least it is constructive.
Well, somewhere in there I began to realize that this was probably not the way I needed to be thinking.
Thus, the groaning.
If you wait long enough I do eventually come back to the point.
Simply put, I asked the Lord if He would help me feel His heart on the matter.
I do not in any way say that I am revealing the heart of God here. I am just saying that this is what came to my heart in response to my asking my Father to help me understand His perspective.
You gotta do your own research on this.
The matter on my heart...
one person has spoken his opinion leading to one people group standing en masse to support both his right to his opinion and their agreement with his position. This has led to both misunderstanding and full comprehension of the stated and unstated agendas of people groups on every side of this issue.
People standing for their rights. Other people being looked down upon because their beliefs don't match up. Hating happening pretty generously on both sides leading to multiple levels of hating by association as people pointed fingers and spoke loudly about all the various subsets of said support. sigh.
I groaned. I listened. I heard...Matthew 5. I began to read...
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I have always been taught that the sermon on the mount was about Jesus teaching his disciples how to be good losers.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
I guess I also knew that it was talking about those poor souls like you find in Africa
You know, the persecuted ones.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Meek is about being lowly. Or perceived lower than the one doing the perceiving.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
I am reading, and chuckling a little at this one as I think about hungering for
righteousness vs chicken.
-Glad I didn't stand in any lines.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
oops. point taken.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
getting a little close to home here.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
I began to wonder about these words and how I had always been led to interpret them. In mercy I thought about standing in line for the 'right' and how un-peaceful that can be. And it hurt me. But not in a judgmental way. More in a way that really let me feel how much people can hurt while I defend my rights.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
My hands began to shake with the power of this statement. Right or wrong, I saw this sentence in an entirely new light.
I had thought this a call for strength.
I had thought this a promise to the right.
Stand firm in your beliefs. Hold the line. Take the punches. You will be rewarded.
I am not saying that is wrong. I am just saying that my thought was pretty exclusive as to its meaning.
Today I was introduced to a new thought.
What if the blessed are the ones being persecuted by the hands and hearts of the righteous.
What if our stand for the right is causing pain, oppression, and persecution to others.
Is it possible that the Lord of Heaven is standing ready to defend this persecution?
Or the ones being persecuted?
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all manner of evil against you in my name.
Now I can hear the voice of my dad in my head. And I smile when I type this. He is telling me I have it all backwards because that next verse talks about prophets and clearly people living in sin are not who he is talking about...to which I would say innocently "daddy, are you saying that all those people on that mountain were sinless?"
And then we would go round and round arguing semantics.
So, just know that I know what you are saying when you say I am misinterpreting.
I am not saying it doesn't mean what we were taught.
I am saying...it may mean more than that.
You will find that the rest of the chapter reads different if you look at it from the perspective of the teacher trying to each his students about respecting others and living in such a way as to bring honor and love to an otherwise harsh and impersonal law.
Today I began to read this "Sermon on the Mount" with a heart that looks to others instead of only to myself. I see the promises not only for my own down times but for the down times of the hurting around me.
I see the blessed as defined by Jesus himself. I see where He is instructing me how to see His beautiful creation. His children.
I see, for the first time, that being salt and light are not only a call to purity and strength but also an encouragement to hold fast to the principles of love taught by the Master. For if salt and light are defined as love then we are called to never lose our love and to never hide it.
Love as salt will affect everyone around with its saltiness.
Love as light will brighten the whole city when kept fully out in the open for all to see.
I know you know this.
Take it and apply it back to the blessed ones. Consider that the blessed ones (in this case) are anyone that is not full up with the knowledge of the love of Jesus.
The lowly, the persecuted, the poor in spirit...whether they know it or not.
Now that you recognize them, do not pity them.
Certainly do not yell at them about how right you are.
I sit here now, weary but heartened by the promises I feel in my heart. I look on the events of the past few days and it breaks my heart because so many people were belittled and hurt...on both sides.
My Papa has a heart to mend the hurts. I know this is true. I want to live in a way that honors His heart.
I hope I can start with today.