I was sitting in church when I glanced at the row behind me. I noticed a woman wearing a t-shirt that said “God loves the people you hate.” I have to confess, I was pretty distracted during the rest of the service thinking about the saying on that shirt. In reality it is hard to love the people we “hate” or “dislike” or “find irritating.” But if I have learned anything in studying Scripture, it is that Jesus wants us to love the unlovable.
On May 16, 1981, I woke up with a great sense of excitement and a little bit of apprehension. It was cloudy and rainy, but I did not let that dampen my anticipation of the day. In some ways it seemed like I had waited a lifetime for this day, but in others it seemed wonderfully new.
As I showered and dressed, I realized that my whole life was about to change. No longer would my decisions impact only me, they would impact us. No longer would I be able to take off and go somewhere without a thought for telling someone where I was going. No longer would I eat toaster pastries for supper and consider that a meal.
In the past few months, we have been surrounded by crises and events that seem unimaginable. Hurricanes have left havoc and despair in their wake, earthquakes have caused unimaginable damage and death, shootings have shook us to our very core, racism has reared its ugly head in ways that should have been put behind us years ago, and politics . . . well, I do not even want to go there.
As an older woman whose children have all reached adulthood and live on their own, I am often reminded of how difficult it is being a Mom. As I read some of my younger friend’s Facebook posts, I wish I could make their journey easier, but in all honesty, even the best of parents experience their times of frustration and agony. I was far from a perfect Mom and there were days when I just wanted to throw in the towel or lock myself in the bathroom and throw a temper tantrum, kicking and screaming like a toddler (oh wait, I really did that!).
I have to say I love watching “Fixer Upper.” It is absolutely one of my favorite shows. Watching Chip and Joanna take an old, tired house and turn it into a thing of beauty is truly fun. I think one of the reasons I love the show so much is because growing up, we lived in some of those old, tired houses–only we never got to fix them up. I wish I had pictures to share of some of the many places we lived. But alas, our house burned down when I was in college, and there are no childhood home pictures. But I had two favorites.
Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
I have been going through the daunting task of selling my home. Literally, months of preparation have taken place. The house was suffering from years of neglect simply because financially things have been difficult for me, especially since my husband’s death six years ago. The interior was dark with dark brown doors on all of the rooms, a tired kitchen and gold and blue bathrooms. The exterior? Well, that is a long, complicated story. Suffice it to say, in this house every time I turned around, some new issue had reared its ugly head. But this is where I can truly say, God is in control.
Mother’s Day is officially here and I must say I have been dreading it this year. It will be the first year with Mom gone. It is hard to believe it has been since October 27, 2015, that she drew her last breath and was ushered to the arms of Jesus. She is in a great place, reunited with Dad and the sister I never met.
My mom was a complicated, complex, and extremely intelligent woman.
I am tired of it. Utterly, dismayingly, (that’s my big word for the day), totally sick and tired of it. I can’t tell you how many times in the last few days I have seen posts from both my conservative and liberal friends attacking each other and accusing each other in totally inappropriate and misleading ways.
Take today for instance. I read a facebook post about Carrie Underwood standing up for her baby as a person and how the liberal media criticized her for it. The article went on to say “liberals” are even willing to have children under the age of 5 killed because their brains have not fully formed consciousness. Really, people? Quit using scare tactics and mistruth and twisted statements to further your agenda.
The fact of the matter is that Carrie Underwood had a very nice conversation with Jimmy Fallon about singing to her baby. It wasn’t even remotely about “defending right to life.” It was just a conversation about singing to her baby. One of the statements made in another article was an accusation that someone referred to it as “her unborn baby” instead of a life. REALLY? Do you know how many times I referred to my child as “the baby” when I was pregnant? It didn’t in any way diminish my child’s life.
I confess, there are times I post articles that are about issues that get to me. Such as government research on farm animals in Nebraska, or Illinois’ new law giving schools access to social media passwords if they feel it is warranted. But at least I checked Snopes first or verify it from other sources, before posting it. And yes, I realize Snopes isn’t always the most reliable source, but I have found it to be generally helpful.
I guess my biggest concern is that as Christians we need to be loving, kind and respectful to others, even those we disagree with. Yes, there are people out there doing wrong (some of them may even be us.) And yes, I do believe that there is some mainstream media bias against Christians. But what do you think Jesus’ response would be? I don’t see him getting on a political bandwagon to make his points. And, somehow I don’t see him going on Facebook and posting about all the big, bad people out there. Instead I envision him loving on them and sitting down to meals with them, and listening to them. (Oh wait, I think he DID do that.)
What about you? How will you respond to people you disagree with? Will you treat them with love or disdain? Will you be honest with your concerns or blow things way out of proportion to make a point? Al I ask is that you think before you post.
Matthew 5:43-48–“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (NIV)