Monday, January 23, 2017

Messages

Its interesting to me how we often are sent the same message in various ways and then as we mull things over we gain new insight or wisdom. God's work perhaps? I like to think so. Yesterday was a perfect example.

In the morning I was up and dressed for church fairly early so I was reading the paper, and then, still knowing I had time before church, began scrolling through Facebook. Of course it was filled with photos and comments and nastiness over the inauguration and yesterday's marches all over the world for women's issues. (As a child of the '60s no protest or march or national debate ever throws me too much and I see it as our purpose as citizens to make our views known. As an elected official I see a small microcosm of the citizenry and experience all the ugliness of both the politicians and the electorate first hand. Its not always pretty. But it is what our democratic society values - every citizen's right to be heard. There are just as many unpleasant people who want to be heard as there are pleasant ones, and within every group are bad seeds. That's just humanity. So, I loved the recent events and all that went with them.)

Anyway, I read one post that quoted Abraham Lincoln when he said "A house divided against itself cannot stand". Of course the original quote was from Jesus Christ and he was talking about the church and dissension within the ranks of the early church.

Then...I went to church. Our scripture in church was about divisions within the church - not the same scripture as Abraham Lincoln used, but very similar - also talking about dissension and how we need to work together for the cause. The pastor likened the church to a family.

So that caused me to spend some time thinking about those things as I sat at home knitting in the afternoon. And I was encouraged in my thoughts because I was questioning whether or not it was OK to have this kind of division in the country. But I had this realization: I come from a large family and there are often disagreements among its members. I love my brother and sisters but don't always agree with them. I love my children too, but again, not always on the same page. But I don't remember any instances where any of us were uncivil or unkind to one another over those differences. And it occurred to me that those differences, and our reactions to them and each other, are what allowed us to grow. We learned from each other and we learned to understand things from another side. And instead of dividing us, we grew closer together. We became a stronger family unit, not a divided one.

And that's the lesson we need to learn as a country. Rather than looking at the person with an opposing view we need to listen to them, learn from them, and grow in understanding and love. Only then will our country be stronger and "undivided". Because we are a family too and we need each other.

Anyone who lives in a vacuum stagnates. I'm not the same person I was fifty years ago, or twenty years ago, or even one year ago. And that's a good thing. My prayer is that even if our leader is too much of a narcissist to understand this, we as the citizens of this country can. We need to listen to one another, learn from one another, and value one another's views. We need to hear each other. We...
the people.

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