A Moment of Silence

Since when did complete agreement become the goal? 

I’ve listened to the news quite a bit since the Orlando massacre and the amount of political talk and civil rights talk and gun rights talk is nauseating.

What about just being sad for 5 minutes before we launch into “These are the issues we need to address”?  

Which, by the way, is what everyone says EVERY SINGLE TIME after a tragedy of this magnitude.

Here’s what I want to say: Everyone, shut your mouth. 

This is not the time to start a conversation about gun control.

This is not the time to start a conversation about conservatives vs. liberals.

This is not the time for Christians and the LGBTQ community to stand off nose to nose.

This is not the time to pick a part Islam.

I just want everyone to please be quiet. 

There are 49 families who are mourning. Their son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, lover was killed.

If you can’t think of a kind, compassionate thing to say, please shut up. 

We can riot in the streets later.

We can debate for hours later.

I am sad about this senseless loss of life. None of those victims set out thinking, This is it, my last day on earth.” They were just out having fun (albeit at a later hour than I like to be out) on a Saturday night. 

Please pray for the families. There are some hard days ahead.

Pray for ways you can show kindness and compassion to those around you–no matter how different they are. 

Pray for strength and wisdom on how we should all properly respond to this tragedy.

But for now, I think we all need to take a breath and just sit in this space for a minute. Let’s take a few moments to grieve before responding rashly. 

 

Thursday Night Lights

I made a new friend today. 

Well, I made several new friends today because I had the opportunity to serve during Thursday Night Lights. 

Every Thursday a group of believers come together to serve and eat dinner with the homeless. 

A local missionary to the homeless brings a truck and trailer loaded with picnic tables and other supplies. 

Different groups volunteer each week to prepare dinner. It truly is a collaborative work within the body of Christ. 

My favorite part was hanging out with the men and women. One of my new friends is a little girl–let’s call her Joan–who is the same age as my sister Sofia. 

She was super shy at first but by the end of the night I got her to smile at me. 

Her smile was beautiful and it absolutely broke my heart…

What’s her daily life like? 

What are her dreams?

These are the questions that were burning in my heart. And if you know me at all, I will ask her these questions in due time. 

I’m reading through Matthew’s gospel and already there have been 3 times that Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes. 

My heart was filled with compassion today. I never want to look at a man or woman and not see them as Christ sees them:

Loved. 

Accepted. 

Worth every sacrifice. 

I know that there’s a stigma about the homeless, but my goal is to take all my preconceived notions and throw them in the trash. 

It’s not my job to sit around and rank the people according to their various levels of poverty. 

Who is that helping?

My only job is to love people, to be their friend, and keep pointing them back to Jesus. 

Joan’s smile is still in my head…

All I see is the bright future that Christ has in mind for her. I look forward to getting to know my new friend and helping her see it, too. 

Grace changes vision

When I was an enemy of God, He decided to make me a friend. His forgiveness is readily available to everyone. It’s not available once your life looks pretty. It’s available right now.

Romans 5:7-8 says:

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

My heart was a mess before Christ. I tried really hard to be good. Some people even bought into my costume too.

But I knew and God knew that what I really needed was grace–God’s DNA–to make a change. Once I accepted God’s grace, everything changed. I gave up my acting career and became an honest woman.

Grace is a change in vision.

God's loveI now see people as God sees them: forgiven, free, loved, and full of potential. This is the future for those who will accept the freedom purchased by the blood of Christ.

Verse 8 says that God loves people when they are still sinners.

As Christians, we are called to love as God loves. This means that I am to love people when they are still sinners.

The exclusivity of the church from the world makes me angry.

Living in Christian Bubble Land is not included in the Great Commission.

I will not pray for anyone to be delivered from a non-Christian environment. What I will pray is that he or she will  grow up in the faith and stop being a Sissy Christian.

Sissy Christians are scared of non-Christians and don’t understand grace.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s truth.

Jesus is no sissy and I follow Him.

He defeated sin, death, and hell to give us grace, love, and mercy.

This is the Good News, the gospel we need to spread.

I think some of us forget that we were once a mess. No one asked us to clean it all up before coming to Jesus.