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. 

 

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. 

Under the radar 

I had a couple of friends in high school who were really good at serving in the shadows. 

This wasn’t a false attempt to be humble. 

This wasn’t a diminishing of their talents. 

They simply understood what it meant to be a servant. The motives of their hearts are still the purest I’ve ever seen. 

I noticed their actions–so did others–as thankless work was done with joy. It’s always convicted me of the pride that tries to creep up in my heart. 

I want a servant’s heart, but it can be difficult to cultivate in a media driven, rockstar culture. 

My earnest belief is that all work is good work. Giving certain jobs the title of “elite” is a dangerous practice. 

Doctors and janitors, lawyers and plumbers, businessmen and garbage collectors all deserve to be treated with respect. 

I try and praise the hard, thankless work as well as the more public, commendable tasks. 

Let’s focus our attention on honoring and encouraging each other in the workplace this week. 

A simple thank you can go a long way. 

And, while we’re at it, let’s be sneaky and serve under the radar too. 

Manners Matter

Yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir—These phrases have always been a part of my daily vocabulary as have the usual pleasantries of please and thank you. I was also taught that you put Ms. or Mr. In front of an adult’s name.

As a child, I cannot remember calling any adult by their first name only.

No one asked me if I wanted to be polite and respectful. It was demanded of me.

My me-maw taught me that adults, especially older adults, were to be treated with the highest level of respect. Not answering properly was an offence equal to interrupting a conversation. (And my family didn’t view corporal punishment as wrong either, so being rude meant some discomfort was coming my way.)

 Over the years, my use of yes ma’am and the like have made quite a few people uncomfortable.

“I’m not that old,” some would say, or “You don’t have to call me Mr. Bob. Just call me Bob.”

That’s where it got a little awkward. Who do I obey? That person? My parents? No wonder kids have been so confused over the years.

Adults demand to be treated as adults, for their commands to be instantly obeyed without question. Then they reprimand children for assigning honor to their role.

 Consequently, you have children who show no respect for authority and who believe they can call all the shots.

Who needs to listen and yield to those who are older when many parents are busy trying to wear skinny jeans and borrowing blouses from their teenaged daughter’s closet? (No one wants to admit they’re getting older.)

Once again, I’ve gone to the extreme in my use of examples. But I cannot understand how anyone who claims to be “all grown up” would take offence to being shown respect.