Oaks of Righteousness

I am so over the political trash talking and bashing that has come with this election.  I actually am a person that really enjoys political discussions.  I get super excited about voting, and I try to really do my homework ahead of time so that I make thoughtful, wise decisions when I am in that little booth. 

But this year, I am so, so over it.   

I am guessing many of you are too.

It’s all becoming so personal.   Friends, family, co-workers, classmates, etc. are deciding not to speak to one another based on how they are voting.  It’s ridiculous really.

What I find so disturbing is the way I was seeing folks interact with one another.  People are being so hateful with each other.  I keep observing name-calling, bullying, threatening.  People’s morals and beliefs are being called into question.   I could go on, but if you are on social media at all, you know what I am talking about. 

And for what?  Because I don’t like your candidate? 

Have we really lost our minds?

Listen, I am all for our political rights.  I am all for campaigning for our favorite candidates.  I think peaceful protests can be a powerful tool in producing change.  I am totally in favor of you voicing your opinion loudly or quietly about the candidates.  I think it is totally fine if you want to post things on your Facebook page in favor of a particular candidate or even against a particular candidate. What a privilege to live in a country that we can do that! 

What concerns me is that I feel like these freedoms are exactly what are slowing destroying us. 

I want you to ask yourself a question…who are the people in your life that have had the greatest impact on you?

Your parents? Your friends?  A teacher maybe?  A next door neighbor?  A pastor?

 Or was it the President?  Or even a famous Christian leader?

I am far less scared of who will be our next President than I am of the fact that we have forgotten how change and impact truly happens.

We think that only folks with large platforms or positions of power can have any lasting impact on our world.  We think that our voices and our actions don’t have any real value.  We treat actors and singers and even pastors or Christian bloggers as if they are saviors.  We obsess about every word that comes out of their mouths, yet we are totally oblivious to the way we often spew hate towards our neighbor.  We judge, we criticize, we gossip, we slander, and we hate. 

This scares me more than the next President.

My problem isn’t that I don’t think these elections matter.  Of course they do.  We should be wise in our choices, especially when that person will hold the highest elected office in our country.

But when are we going to decide that it matters more what I am doing everyday than it does who is standing on the highest platform or in the greatest position of power? 

I can tell you with certainty that the people that have had the greatest impact on my life were not people in positions of power.  Some of the people who have had the greatest influence on my life are my parents, my grandma, my youth minister Nick, my Sunday School teacher Kathy, my youth intern Becky, my college roommate Mimi, my oldest friends Krista and Shawna, my spiritual mentor Paula, my kindred spirit Grace, my English teacher Mrs. Youngs, my beloved friends David and Andrea, my husband. This is a very, very condensed list of just a handful of people that have encouraged me in my journey.  They have challenged me. They have supported me.  They have pushed me.  These are the ones that have propelled me towards change.

And not a single one of them is famous. None of them have a huge platform or are in positions of great power.

They are folks who decided that I matter.  My life mattered.  They chose to walk through the hard parts of life with me.  They wiped my tears.  They helped carry me when I felt like I couldn’t go on.  They pushed me when I wanted to give up. They took the time to teach me not just with their words but with their actions and with their lives. 

When I was 18 years old, God gave me a word so clear and so precise that it has been my life’s mission ever since. I carry these words like a beautiful locket around my neck.  In all that I do, I try to bring it back to these verses.

Isaiah 61:1-4
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.”

Can you imagine how our homes, our communities, our cities, our country, our WORLD would look if we all started living more like this?

What would happen if we started “proclaiming good news to the poor and binding up the brokenhearted” instead of bullying and brow-beating one another over our political affiliations?

How different would things look if we started “providing for those who grieve, and bestowing upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes" instead of shutting ourselves in our houses and cutting ourselves off from our neighbors?

Can you imagine the change we would see if we were “rebuilding and renewing the ruined cities and restoring the places that have been devastated for generations” instead of pretending that this is the government's problem alone and blaming these communities for their demise?

For my family and me, at least, I want us to be known as “oaks of righteousness.”  Even if our names and our faces are long forgotten, I want us to leave imprints in the way we love and in the way we serve those in our community. 

I don't care if God ever gives us any kind of position, platform, or power, as long as He grants us the wisdom and strength to display for all to see His great splendor.

 We have a little over 8 months until the next Presidential elections.  I urge you to not get sucked into the madness of the name-calling and bullying.  Choose a different path.  Choose a different way.  Remember that you have the opportunity to have a greater impact on your neighbor, your family, and your friends than the President of the United States ever will.  You can choose to stand in the gap for the broken, the hurting, the sick, the poor…the least of these. 

Be the change that you desperately long to see in this world. 

You don’t need position, power, or platform to do it.

The greatest leader in the world was the one who spent His days washing feet, embracing the dirty and broken, healing the lame, and walking with the outcast. He should be our model always.

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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and over...so please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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