If you lean in close — you can hear it, all across the land of the free and the home of the brave :
Some are delighted with relief right now.
Some are despairing with rejection right now.
Some are conflicted and some are confused and some are glad about the election’s outcome and some are deeply grieving that outcome.
There are deeply divided lines and painful brokenness.
There is very real fear and pain on both sides and perhaps this is not the time to dismiss each other but to take the time to listen to each other.
Many Americans who felt forgotten and dismissed voted their pain. And now different Americans feel painfully forgotten and dismissed.
Many Americans voted the way they did because of genuine fear for the future. And now different Americans genuinely feel their own kind of fear for their futures.
Strange how that is — We are all the same kind of different.
Family may disagree — but they still agree that they are a family.
So maybe the way forward in the division and the brokenness? The way forward is always to give forward.
Maybe right now — Instead of giving someone a piece of your mind—it’s far better to give them pieces of your heart.
Maybe right now —
and maybe it never mattered more than it does today…
Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
Involved in a group conversation? Go out of your way to make sure each person feels included.
Grab a group of friends — and serenade strangers on the street.
Reach out across dividing lines and say “Hi” to a friend who might be a little different than you. Let them know you love them for who they are, not how they voted.
Take a photo of anything you see that reminds you of someone — and send it their way. It’s a healing way to say “Thinking of You!”
Stand on a street corner for 10 minutes — and give compliments to everyone you see
Reach out to someone today who is feeling hurt, who is grieving. Listen well.
Find one person today who is “other” — who thinks differently, lives differently, sees things differently. And just do that: Listen to each other, listen to the “other.”
Maybe — if each of us, everywhere, could find just one person who is the “other” today — and really listen until the “other” feels understood — this is what it means when Jesus said love one another — to love the other.Absurd comes from that Latin word, ‘surdus,’ which means ‘deaf.’ Things will only become more absurd times if we don’t listen but grow deaf to each other.
Whenever we deafen, demonize, and dehumanize anybody — we can legitimize anything.
It’s that Latin word which means “listening,” audire — that gives us the word “obedient.” A Faithful Life is The Listening Life.
Listening fully to each other — is how to be fully obedient to God.
The only way to a sincerely God-Obedient life — is to live a sincerely Listening Life.
In the midst of the brokenness — now is the time, for such a time, to listen to each other — so that we can be known for how well we love each other.
This might be a step toward the healing we all agree is needed desperately and desperately wanted.
We may not understand each other — but we can stand with each other. Instead of dismissing each other out of hand — now is the time to reach out a hand and deeply listen to each other.
If we all made it a practice to genuinely listen everyday to one person with whom we disagree, we’d get to genuinely practice our faith.
Maybe — God’s purposes come not so much through power but through the compassion of God’s people.
Compassion is more powerful than power. Ask Jesus who chose to die on a cross.
Compassion, co-passion, literally means co-suffering. And co-suffering with the suffering is how Jesus chose to transform suffering. And we’ve all been suffering in different ways, we’re all the same kind of different. Listen well to each other’s broken hearts, to each other’s suffering.
If we could be compassionate with each other — co-suffer — with each other — we could be part of the healing of each other.
If we are passionate about the church having any transformational power in the world, then the call of the church is to be compassionate — to live cruciformational. Formed like a cross, we take the form of reaching hands, open ears, listening hearts.
Because our God is with us, we will be with each other.
Because our God is on the throne, we will not spout off with each other but be on our knees for each other.
Because our compassionate God is all powerful, we will be compassionate with each other because this is the way of the most powerful.
Because our God is close to the brokenhearted — we will be near to the hearts of all the broken — of all of us.
If you lean in close, in the warming autumn days — you can hear it, like the heartbeat of hope:
people coming together to give grace to each other, to be the gift to each other, the brokenness of things being re-membered —
in the remembering that there’s no way to deny anyone a lavish glass of grace from which we ourselves have drank lavishly.
Coming Next Week, a new series of posts: Humans, Meet Humans. America, Meet America; Canada, Meet Canadians. I kinda just love all the people, and getting to meet all you beautiful people face to face during #TheBrokenWayTogetherTour, & maybe in seeing each other’s faces & remembering who we all are to one another, we might re-member a bit of the brokenness?
from CBA Christian Retailing Review:
“A personal manifesto for the brokenhearted…
Written in an amazingly touching style, this book will resonate with those who know pain.
It is as though Voskamp has captured and bottled the song of the hurting and gives them hope.
Passionate and Powerful.” ~ CBA Christian Retailing Review