Our world has hurt long before this last election. As I often do, I have been pondering the world around me. I see, feel and absorb all of the pain. I hear every injustice and wish I could give peace, love and joy to everyone. I want to be a peacekeeper, a hope finder, and I want to love those around me. I have been pondering and wondering, what do I teach my kids? How do I help them process the world we live in?
I began thinking about two years ago when the candidates were announced. Then, I followed the timeline to when the world went crazy. I was only left with the thought, our world has been falling apart since Adam and Eve chose to separate themselves from their creator. Since then I believe we are all looking for a way to fill the icky, ugly void the separation from God created.
Our reactions are as different as all six of my family member’s personalities. I think of our personalities in light of the human race. Some hate and spit on God for allowing such a thing to happen in the first place. What kind of God does this to those he loves? Some repent and try to make up for the fall of mankind, bearing on their shoulders the sin of all man kind. Whatever our reaction is to the fall of mankind, the common denominator is the pain. It hurts to be separated from God.
I think of my own pain. I have been running away from pain my whole life. When I was a little girl I realized how painful the world was and I did not want anything to do with it. I toughened up, put on my armor, and fought the good fight that all good female warriors do. We’re good at it. We love carefully and trust few. We tip toe around, never allowing those we meet to truly get to know us. You might think you do, but in our hearts and minds, we know differently. Never let anyone or anything hold the key to something that could rip your heart out, even worse, your soul.
I walked around wounded. I walked around in a box I had hid myself away. I smiled like all good christians do. I prayed, I brought others to Jesus and I did it all with a box around my heart. I did it all while wishing I didn’t have to hurt so much. I stuffed it and stuffed it far, until a good friend stopped me and said no more. Oh, I was thankful and fearful. I was terrified of the monster that might emerge and eat me. Pain, so much pain.
The last two years I have fought hard to come out of the box and to remain out of the box. The last two days I have wondered if I need to go back to the box after all. I have always hated fighting, whether hearing others do it or Mark and I fighting. I hate it. It grates at my very being and I hate it.
I hear the world hurting, groaning and I want to hide my head under a pillow. I hear the silent tears of those knowing if they speak they only add fuel to the fire. I hear those who are speaking and I hear hearts breaking because of the words. We have forgotten to see each other as valuable, precious human beings. In the course of wanting to be seen, wanting to be heard and fighting for our rights, others are being alienated. It seems one side cannot love or be loved without hurting the other side.
So, what do I tell our kids? How do I approach and what is my answer for a hurting world? I find myself in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
I cannot keep my kids from pain. I cannot keep the world from hurting and I do not want to go back to living in the box I had been in. I will cry with the world. I will let tears stream down my face at the injustice all around us. I will teach my kids to not hold back their tears, but to teach a world to cry with each other. To feel the pain, to allow God to heal their pain through their tears. To allow their tears to let them stand alongside others. To weep with a hurting world.
The only thing I have ever found in a closet was secrets and fears that kept me from being who Christ needs me to be in my family, community and the world. We will listen to those who are different from us.