Thanks to my daughter, Maia, I've been listening to Toby Mac. A new release, something about a City on our knees (can't wait to get it, use it in worship, etc.) has these words: We are all just one choice away from together.
That phrase lingers with me, edging out other thoughts. One choice away from together.
Now, I don't think 'anything goes.' I have opinions and some of them are strong. There is evil and injustice in the world. We must not take it all lying down. I wouldn't want to be part of a church that accepted evil, or a nation that didn't try to do best by all the citizens of the world.
And yet, I would say that in our nation we have forgotten together. We have forgotten in our nation how to disagree and still care for one another. We have forgotten how to debate with civil tongues and orderly logic. We have forgotten that most of us love our nation, want what is best, and seek good.
Someone sent me an email today criticizing our President, and while it disturbed my peace, I was glad he sent it. I don't agree with everything the President does. For me, it's too soon to tell. My mother's experience with Medicare does not give me much hope for a government-run healthcare system, even though I want everyone to have healthcare when they need it.
Does that mean the President is my enemy? Hardly. I don't agree with everything my husband does, either. We disagree. We debate. Sometimes we argue and whine, kvetch and complain. We are not always on the same side and we don't always see things the same way. We don't attack each other, either, and we treat each other with respect. I still love him when we disagree because we are together in our marriage seeking what is best for our family and the world. Sometimes, his debating or disagreeing has led me into a much better way of thinking. Sometimes, I've brought him grace he didn't see coming. We are facing the same direction, committed to each other and to going forward as partners.
To our nation, I want to say, Let's TALK, for heaven's sake, rather than yelling and labeling and name-calling. People who disagree with us might turn out to be doing us a great favor. We can debate, and disagree, but can we please do it with respect for each other? Can we please remember we are in this boat together, and pushing and shoving is only going to jeopardize everyone's health, safety, and life?
Then, I think, maybe I need to say the same to the Church. Not so much my local church, but our denomination and the Church as a whole. If Christians yell and call each other names, label opponents with dismissing names, treat those who disagree as enemies, what hope is there for eveyrone else?
We are one step from together. Together is a choice. It doesn't mean we all agree, but I think it must mean that we treat those on opposite, or other, sides of the fence with basic human dignity. Sometimes, together might mean keeping a distance. Sometimes, it might mean confronting with a hard truth. But let those of us who follow Jesus, at least, choose 'together' over polarizing, name-calling, vicious attacks on our co-countrymen and women.
Randy often tells James to 'act like somebody.' I would challenge us who follow Jesus to do the same, only let that somebody be our Lord, and let us treat ALL who disagree as he has treated us.
We are all one choice from together - let it begin with me.