My heart has been every shade of confused this past week. Every shade of annoyed. Every shade of conflicted. Every shade of angry. Every shade of grief and frustration landing me right back at confused.
All week long I can’t seem to find my footing. I can’t seem to land chin up, shoulders back, with a statement, a position. I’ve been confused as to whether that’s even okay to admit.
Every time I think a thought I can’t help but wonder if it’s my own or something I saw online. I find myself applauding and then having questions. Upset and then having more questions. Sad. Just so sad. And then having more questions. And I’ve been confused as to whether it’s okay to voice my questions.
I haven’t been silent to harm. I’ve been silent to process. Some of us are slower at this. Some of us have to wade through the emotion, the voices, the confusion before we speak. I’ve been confused as to whether that’s okay.
I have this feeling that maybe if I’m feeling this way there are others that are, too. And, you know me, I’m a bringer together of the people, an asker of all of the questions, and a fierce lover of Jesus. I want to sit together with a steamy mug of the best coffee and journey through this. Not be told what I have to do. Or have demands made of my emotions or timing or confusion. But to really sit. Really think. Really read and communicate with those near and ponder and listen to the Holy Spirit and the promptings that are for me. For us. For the church collective but also for each of us as individuals. It’s been slow for me, I admit. I couldn’t speed up the process though I tried.
I also have a deep, deep desire that my postings not become about me or all the amazing (or lack of amazing) things I’m doing in this season. That’s never the point. When 40,000 black bus riders boycotted the bus system in Alabama, just days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white bus rider, there was no space for them to share with the world what they were doing. They were moved by a deep conviction to act whether anyone saw or not. Not, was likely the reality. And yet they used their actions to bring about much needed change. Quietly, but loudly. Loudly, yet quietly.
As I’ve pleaded with the Lord to bring my feet to steady ground He’s said no. I know this because I don’t feel any more steady today than I did a week ago, but I’m more okay with that being okay and trusting Him in the midst of my own personal weakness.
My questions have changed over the course of the week and maybe yours have to.
Why does blood have to be shed as we question why blood has to be shed?
Why do we hate and shame those who have not said a thing in hate and shame?
What is the life, the voice, the way, the truth we ought to live?
If we live it quietly, is it time to get loud?
If we’re loud, is it time to get quiet?
Is there a protocol we must be following in this time no matter who we are, how we’ve been designed, what the Holy Spirit is prompting in us? In me?
The Lord has been gracious in my slow to speakness, in my thoughts that come and go, my questions and the lack of answers.
Use your voice always.
Use your mind always.
Use your money always.
Use your heart, your home, your everything always for the things I’ve commanded of you.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Do justly. This means doing wrong to none, and right to all, in their bodies, goods and name. (Matthew Henry)
Love mercy. Delight in it. Be glad of it. Rejoice at the opportunity for it.
Now here’s the part that has me struggling. Because those two I think I get, at least cognitively, theoretically, if not in action and word, which becomes much more difficult to live out purely.
Walk humbly with your God. This is the piece where I’ve felt unsettled. How do we do the above, in this current place of history that we live, humbly. When the slogans are that silence kills, how do we use our voice, our very lives, to humbly proclaim what we believe is right.
I know that my heart is railing against the lack of humility I’ve seen. It’s railing against seeming hate from those serving to solve an issue and it’s running in the opposite direction from those who are telling me we must all do things in one certain way. I’m not saying this is good. It’s what brings about the muddled-upness of my head.
For as long as I can remember, the world I grew up in has pleaded for independence. Independent thought. Independent reason. Independent lifestyles. Reliance on nothing. Calling out that we all get to choose how exactly we live and exactly what that looks like. I’ve never thought this wise, good or right, but it’s the world I’ve known as a west-coast girl growing up in Canada.
Now suddenly we all must conform, we all must use our voice in exactly the same way. This isn’t to say I disagree with the narrative, but to say it’s all very confusing to say I have no decision in how I walk out doing justice and loving mercy.
Rosa Parks protested by staying in her seat. Others protested by boycotting the bus system. Heaven knows others were on their knees in prayer.
The work of justice will never be finished in this world and I long to give my life to fight for it. I believe it is what I’ve been called to.
The oppression in this world will never be eradicated and I long to use my voice for the voiceless. I believe this is what I’ve been called to.
For as long as I am on this earth it will be my life’s work. It’s what I know I’ve been called to.
Humbly, not arrogantly. Together, not apart. Working towards uniting voices in love, not harm.
I’ve told my children since they were little beans that we are to be inviters on a journey, not demanders of our way.
If you want a friend to come play, you invite them, not force them.
If you see harm happening, you first protect the one being harmed and then you invite the harmer to see something different, a new way.
If you know an injustice is happening in the world, you help the one against whom the injustice is being served, and you invite people to know what you know and to see what you see.
God has something for each of us in this time. I don’t believe we get to hide. But, I think we do get to listen to what the Lord is asking of us through His word, and through the promptings of the Holy Spirit on our lives.
God calls us to clear action through His word.
We are to seek Him with all of our heart.
We are to take up our cross and follow Him.
The only thing wrong for me today is not heeding the voice of the Lord through His word, not following the prompts of the Holy Spirit, and not using my life for what He says it is for.
The working out of this may look different for you than it does for me. The journey to get there may look different for you than for me. The voice you use may rise up in a way that is different for you than for me. May we trust the Holy Spirit is working in each of us.
As Christians, as the church, we have a call on our lives that is very clear. We will answer for the ways we do or do not follow.
Each day I pray for God to tear down the idols in my heart I can not see. Each day I ask Him to expose to me the hidden places of my heart that may be hiding from my sight that are so gross. Each day I ask him to remove the opinions that are not valid, to silence my mouth when it doesn’t need to speak, and to grow me closer to His ways, to love them.
Less me. More Him. The end of myself so that He is made much of. A putting aside of ‘me’ and all the ugly we can hide behind in saying ‘that’s just who I am’ and a putting on of a new life, a new heart. A repentance for every word, every act I don’t even know and an opening of my eyes to see a new way, His way.
“The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.” Proverbs 11:23
Let’s end this in good, my friends. No matter how confused, shakey, uncertain and with all of our questions and in all of our lack and messed up ways. Let’s end only in good.
“Before sin is a matter of behaviour, it is always a matter of the heart.” Nancy Guthrie