I would like to point the way to real hope, instead of more of the same.
Lining up to buy a chicken sandwich to prove a point? More of the same.
Demanding that stressed employees tell us Merry Christmas and fostering a culture of fear toward anyone who doesn't do things our way? More of the same.
Blaming a senseless tragedy on a lack of forced prayer in schools, never considering that we would not want our own children to have to pray a certain way against their will, or even more that God cannot be kept out of anything by humans? More of the same.
Counting ourselves as recipients of wild, ridiculously generous grace and then withholding it, or measuring it out cautiously, not wanting to overdo it? More of the same.
In my own heart, being so frustrated with these things that I run the risk of overlooking my own great sin? More of the same.
I am hopeful, and I am sad.
I want to point the way to something better, something I am seeking and finding in places I would not have looked ten years ago. This has been a year of speaking out for me. A year that began with tearing down, and progressed into a hard season of refining and shaping. My paradigm has shifted, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say it shifted some time ago, but this year I've been able to acknowledge and work with this shift. Something beautiful has happened: I can see the beauty of God once again. It is good news, and I would share it gladly. That "more of the same" gospel that I was trying to hold on to, thought I needed to fight for--it was death to my soul.
Now, I can whisper to my God, and I don't feel anger from Him, or disappointment. Just overwhelming love and grace, and when I fail, a sense that He believes I can do better, that He is cheering me on. Love, not fear. It is a delicate, precious thing and I will fight for it. I will fight to not misunderstand Him again.
It's not a way of easy answers (or any answers, at times). Sometimes giving an answer, an explanation, is the cruelest thing you can do to another human being who is in sorrow. It takes bravery to just sit, and be.
He has rescued me from my own perceptions. I believe change is coming, and I am hopeful because I see it everywhere. God is bigger than all of this, though. I will continue to be surprised by Him, to shift my perceptions.
And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.