Disclaimer: I want to assure you that I am not intending on making this blog my soap box for controversial issues indefinitely. Whew! As always, this blog reflects the constantly changing seasons of my life and mind, and how I can find and share hope through it all. Thank you so much for reading and helping me process and grow.
My last post on justice opened a flood gate in my heart and there are so many issues I could write about. I wrote about staying present on one issue and not falling into a general frantic concern for the world but that is hard! There is the extreme killing of Christians and others in Nigeria that is largely being ignored by major media outlets. There is my ongoing concern for children and sex trafficking that happens not just in Asia but right here in Vancouver. There is the recent exposure of long time systemic racism in our health care system and many, many other troubling events. The iPhone that I am using to type this probably has cobalt mined by a child in the Congo.
It makes me want to swear off the news forever and have some facade of everything being okay. And actually limiting news intake and taking breaks is a good thing. Our family unplugs one day a week and I highly recommend it!
But even without the mainstream news there are my conflicted thoughts about other issues. Issues often brought to my attention by Christian sources, issues with so many nuances and intense positions that it feels wrong and scary to express my heart and wrong not to. Abortion is a prime example. I get emails about movies and requests to lobby the government often. Then I read online articles saying that the movies and lobbies to the government are problematic and dangerous. How do I respond?
Can I say that I feel heartbroken and sick to my stomach and indignation for all of those little ones, while also saying that I care deeply about women and all of the circumstances that lead them to this action? I feel indignation about the guys who say “deal with it” and walk away along with the many other obstacles that face women who keep a pregnancy and raise a child.
When I was pregnant I was so sick in my first trimester and so triggered in my second trimester, because every time my baby moved in my uterus it reminded of past trauma, there were times when I wanted the baby out now. In those moments my heart moved from judgement to compassion.
At the same time I felt outrage when my midwife asked if I wanted a DNA test to determine whether I would think about terminating my pregnancy.
I want to advocate for the unborn and the woman. In my mind they are both people created by God. I don’t know what that path of advocacy looks like for me.
Here I sit now on my couch safe and untouched by any of these issues. So do I even have a right to say anything? Whenever I look online I just see conflict and confusion. I see debates where people seem to care more about being right than about each other. I wonder how many of my own opinions are influenced by the loud voices of others.
My path for most of my life was simply to not have an opinion and just be a mediator. Being a peacekeeper instead of a peacemaker. I am realizing now that is an insult to the mind and heart that God gave me. It is okay to have an opinion and conviction, in fact it is necessary. I am also learning that it must be surrounded by listening and love and the humble willingness to change my mind when needed.
In Micah 6:8 “Act justly” is followed by “love mercy” and “walk humbly with your God”. Without loving mercy and humbly acknowledging God we cannot find true justice. For He is the author and sustainer of it all.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”
Psalms 89:14-15 NIV
This is how I find my peace when my heart is plagued with the burdens of the world. I am learning to speak honestly and not hide what I believe. At the same time I am learning to listen and grow and love all those who cross my path regardless of what we agree or disagree on. Most of all, I am learning to trust God and take my cues from the Creator who knows me best and walk in the light of his presence.
“It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by you”. – Surrounded, song by Upperroom