“I have an idea . . . ” words frequently heard coming out my nine year old’s mouth.
Some of these ideas are cute. Some give me pause. And some . . . well, let’s just say they have me applying the brakes super quickly. But regardless of where we land with her ideas, they just keep rolling in.
I wish ideas popped into my brain just as easily. Or maybe I wish cute ideas popped into my brain just as easily. Because, here lately, at least, I’ve been avoiding writing because there’s a fine line between speaking truth and lecturing. I always want to speak truth, but I truly want it to spoken with love and grace. And lately, I’m finding that a bit challenging.
Last summer I wrote a post entitled, Throwing it Back . . . What Would Jesus Do? What Did Jesus Do? And today, after a pretty intense conversation with someone I love, I found myself going back to that question all over again. The conversation was one of a few I’ve had with people recently regarding helping, providing for the physical needs while also tending to the spiritual needs, of those both in and out of America. Because there’s this school of thinking, with which I do not agree, that we should only serve here . . . that we should only adopt here . . . that our only ministry should be here . . . in the United States of America. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details, but I do want to share, at least in part, my response (not because it’s anything earth shattering, but because I deeply feel that this is what God has put on my heart regarding this topic of conversation), “I think God calls us all to different things. If He calls me to serve overseas (or down the street or in another state or on the far side of the moon . . . ), that’s what I’ll do . . . as someone who is a Christian, I serve a God without borders. The bible literally tells us to go into all the world . . .” There was more, but you get the gist. And I would add, something that may make me wildly unpopular with some, but something that I think needs to be said, God is not American. Saying that in no way negates my love or my pride for my country. Having said that, I am a Christian before I’m an American . . . or even a Texan . . . if you know, you know . . . Texas pride is a real thing y’all. But at the end of the day where He calls me to serve, to give, to cover in prayer is where I will serve and give and cover in prayer.
I refuse to be ruled by cynicism in the name of realism. To let selfishness be disguised as protecting myself or my family. I keep looking at the situations we’re faced with, our country and our world spiraling, and I think “What would Jesus really do here? How would He respond? What would He say” Because, somehow, I think if we did this, there’d be a whole lot less stone throwing, and a lot more compassion and grace extended. And as I’ve said so many times before, I am in no way excusing or giving license to sin. Jesus was brutally honest, calling out sin without hesitation, while, at the same time, being immensely gentle. I often wonder what Jesus would say if He read our Facebook posts, walked in on our conversations . . . in our churches, in our homes, around our dinner tables . . . watched how we acted toward and treated others . . . because He reads them, those Facebook posts . . . He hears them, those conversations we have . . . He’s watching, the things we do. Not because He’s out to get us, but because He loves us. All. Of. Us. He loves me, and He loves you, and He loves people living halfway around the world. And He wants the best for us. So I’m back to the question “What would Jesus do?” And I’m back to asking myself if what I’m choosing is what He would have me choose.
You don’t have to agree with me. I’m not a fan of confrontation or disagreements as a rule, but at the end of my life, I won’t answer to anyone but Jesus for the things I did and said and to which I lent myself.