hashtag breathe

Sometimes it feels like I can’t breathe. There’s too much coming too fast and none of it brings peace. It’s like the whole darn country is having 10,000 different arguments with itself and it just can’t stop. And our children are watching. Growing up in an angry house nation with angry adults who seem to have no control over their own emotions or words. Makes it hard to breathe, y’all.

We’re mad at everything and everyone, while living with more freedom and opportunity than most of the world. Having access to so much that we waste most of what we have. We don’t have to dig to try to find clean water. We live in a nation known for its wealth, although we do have our own level of poverty.

But, come on–

 

 

 

 

Ditto with the levels of corruption in our leaders. As much as some want to think we are under the rule of a madman, we are not. Because we live here, not over there, where a real madman is at the wheel.  And he kills anyone who speaks against him.

{Imagine it.}

We can go to church and sing and clap out loud without dying for it. We can kneel and pray, make the sign of the cross, put ashes on our forehead, chant, bow to any god we want, and we can do it all without dying.

Our women can work, drive, vote and pretty much dress any way they want, without being beaten or killed. We can be CEOs or stay-at-home moms. Our choice. We can marry who we want, travel where we want, and we can look a man in the eye and tell him what we think. Without dying for it. It’s a low bar, I know, but there are many people who can’t reach the low bar, while we soar far above it. But we’re still mad. We’re still fighting. We’re still marching for more.

{#iamnotavictim}

And I want us to breathe. For a minute, just take breaths and look around and wonder why we are lucky enough to be here instead of there. I want us to be thankful instead of angry. I want us to stop finding excuses to be offended and find reasons to be grateful. To remember how good it is here. To remember that we are free. That we are blessed.  I want us to look beyond our selves, beyond our own borders and discover how privileged we really are – all of us.

I want us to remember that our children are watching. Learning what it looks like to be an adult. Learning how to respond when things aren’t just the way we want them to be. Learning how to want more and expect more, despite having the most. What they’re seeing teaches them that we should respond to everything we see and hear, no matter how ridiculous.

They see the Church as wrapped up in what goes on in the world as everyone else. As argumentative, opinionated and just as angry. They can hear us bickering, see us protesting, watch as we go toe to toe with those on the left, or on the right, or anywhere in between. They see the world’s fight becoming ours. They see the pitting of women against men and they hear the cry to rise up and demand the respect we deserve.

If our children are seeing what I’m seeing, they see angry Christians in an angry world. Demanding to be heard. Hashtagging it out with everyone else.

We need to breathe in some different air. Holy air. Inhale some peace. Because we are citizens of heaven and the air there is thick with glory, not anger. Our mission is not to gain equality, or even to be treated fairly. We are ambassadors of Christ in a foreign land and we are to represent Him well. We are sent ones, equipped with a rescue message, to go into darkness and bring people out.

We are salt and light and different. As in not the same. Their fight is not our fight and their weapons are not ours. As much as we want to link arms with them and march it out for justice…that is not what we do or how we do it.

“For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”  – Ephesians 6:12

Breathe, Church, breathe. Jesus left us footprints. Let’s follow them.

{He bestowed honor on women without inciting hatred against the men who dishonored them. He lifted people up and out without turning them against one another. He said “your faith has healed you”, not “#metoo”.}

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