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. 

 

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The everyday superhero

I’m always amazed at shows where there’s a masked hero and no one recognizes him or her. 

How is it possible that none of their closest friends and family figure it out?

No wonder the job of a hero is lonely work. 

I guess that’s why every hero needs a sidekick. You gotta share that burden with someone, right?

We all have to grapple with this desire to be seen and recognized for our contributions. 

On the one side, there’s nothing wrong with giving credit where credit is due. 

On the other side, doing something out of a self-seeking, look at me attitude is a bad idea. 

And I think that’s why encouraging others is one of my favorite things to do. 

Just by paying attention you can brighten someone’s day. You also help that individual see things they are overlooking about themselves. 

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to encourage the people around you. 

You never know when one small act of kindness can save the day. 

I’m a firm believer that encouragement is a super power. 

On being nice

Let’s talk about being nice.

Did you know that you don’t have to agree with someone to be nice?

It is possible. 

Not everyone thinks your ideas are awesome. 

Not everyone goes to the same church as you. 

Not everyone…(fill in the blank)

And you can still be nice. 

There was a time when social media was fun and encouraging. 

I’m trying to stay positive, however, my newsfeed’s had nothing but garbage on it this week. 

This mean streak is disheartening because it’s not promoting the heart of Christ: His love of everyone on this planet. 

My encouragement to you, my friends, is to really think before you post. 

Just be nice. 

Show love. 

Promote respect. 

I know we can’t change the whole internet, but we can make our little corner of it a brighter space. 

Showing kindness

Today at church we talked about kindness. 

I was voice interpreting and did pretty good. (I’ve only done it a five or six times so it was stop and start.)

The critic inside me was screaming, though, that I didn’t do a good job. I tried not to listen but it was hard. 

Maybe I can’t do this…

But I persevered because my mentor is teaching me to not give up, to give myself grace. 

We talk a lot about extending grace and kindness to others. And we definitely should!

My problem is that I’m great at giving it to others and terrible at giving it to myself. 

The voice I was hearing was me–expecting to not mess up, which is impossible because I’m a beginner. 

Talk about unrealistic expectations. Geez…

If we want to be gracious, merciful, and kind to others we must first understand that grace, mercy, and kindness is for us too. 

As Christians, God tells us to show others the love He gave to us. 

We can’t show love–or any of God’s characteristics–to others if we haven’t received it ourselves. 

Let’s remember this week to be kind. 

Start with yourself and go from there.