Let me begin by saying this post won’t be very long. Because I just don’t have words for all I’m feeling right now. It will probably be disjointed at best. Jibberish and jumping off the rails is more likely.
I am discouraged by what’s been going on in our country.
Lots of wellmeaning people that I love and respect feel differently than I do. On many issues. And in many ways, both right and left. And that can often make me feel politically homeless.
I often feel like I’m supposed to wrap my heart around my politics. Or wrap my politics around my heart. And I’m living in the tension of being unable to do that.
I don’t know what the correct answers are. I’m not even sure what the correct questions are.
Whenever I’m overwhelmed by what I don’t know, I have to go back to the basics of what I do know.
All throughout Scripture, we can find simple instructions for what we are to do as followers of Christ. We’ve been studying the book of James in our Bible Study. We’ve gotten through the first four chapters so far and just in those alone, we find all kinds of instructions.
- We are to look after orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27).
- We must not show favoritism (James 2:1).
- We are told mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).
- We are told faith without action is worse than useless, it’s dead (James 2:17).
- We are told the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17).
- We are reminded that he gives us grace upon grace and that while God opposes the proud, he shows favor to the humble (James 4:6).
Are our actions/rants/memes/tweets/posts in line with our Biblical instructions?
I usually fall short of reconciling what my political beliefs “should be” and what I truly feel in my heart. I wrestle with the practicality of living out our Scriptural calls in the day to day. In the middle of the wrestling, I’m reminded Jesus didn’t exactly fit the politics of the day either. It isn’t practical. Maybe it was always intended to be impractical and radical and nonsensical, this love and grace for our fellow human beings.
I’ve been heartsick these past few days. I felt like the timing of executive orders concerning refugees and immigrants coming on the heels of the March for Life was especially poignant.
As I watched coverage of the marchers standing up for the unborn, I saw many signs with a popular slogan: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
I absolutely agree with this. I have spent many nights as a volunteer counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. I have wept with mothers who feel hopeless. I have shared their sighs of relief when they hear the ways we’re able to come alongside them. They come in feeling like they have no choices, no allies, no hope.
In our training, we were taught a reminder–Save the mother, save the child (meaning that in order to save the baby, you must first save the mother). That has stuck with me for the last decade whenever I think of how I want to make a difference in this world.
It has influenced me in my serving at the pregnancy center, in my leadership roles with MOPS, in my writing, even just in line at Target.
Whatever you do for the mother, you end up doing for the child with a cascade effect. Love the mother, love the child. Help the mother, help the child. Feed the mother, feed the child. Clothe the mother, clothe the child. It goes on and on and applies to everything, this trickle down love effect.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
A person’s a person, no matter how small. Yes. Absolutely and amen. But you know what else? A person’s a person. Period. Full stop. And we are each created in his image. Fearfully and wonderfully made. With a purpose and a plan. A story designed by God himself.
What is our role in this whole big mess that this world is in? Love your neighbor as yourself.
Because a person’s a person, no matter what.
No matter if she’s in jail. No matter if he’s on welfare. No matter if she’s Muslim. No matter if he’s an immigrant. No matter if she’s disabled. No matter if he’s 103 years old. No matter if she speaks every language but English. No matter if he’s an addict. No matter if she’s a single mom. No matter if he looks suspicious. No matter if she cuts you off in traffic.
A person’s a person, no matter what. Love your neighbor as yourself.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:37-40 NIV
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The text in the image is as follows:
“A person’s a person, no matter how small? Yes. And also this…
A person’s a person, no matter how small.
No matter how short, no matter how tall.
No matter how dark, no matter how light.
No matter the day, no matter the night.
No matter the land, no matter the tongue.
No matter how old, no matter how young.
No matter the act, no matter the deed.
No matter the god, no matter the creed.
No matter the smarts, no matter the grade.
No matter the cash, no matter the trade.
A person’s a person, created to be
a unique addition to humanity.
In His own image, He created us all.
No matter how big and no matter how small.”