The world is crazy right now. It’s always crazy but 2020 has been particularly bonkers. Pandemics. Racial injustice. Riots. Elections. The one thing that ties them all together? Our disunity in them. Divides happen. We are all different people, with different stories, experiences, pain, and as a result different points of view. Just being bi-partisan makes us a country divided, to some extent. None of this is new or surprising.
Here’s what is surprising: how readily the Christian community can disregard, dismiss, and discount the pain of others because they haven’t shared that experience. I wouldnt fault anyone for not knowing what it’s like to be someone else. My struggle is that when others say: “hey, we are hurting”, “we are being mistreated” how quickly Christians are to debate and argue that. You would think we were being accused of murder.
The escalation of frustration continues: even just encouraging Christians to do the Christian thing and be gracious, sympathetic, and compassionate towards others gets met with intense push back. Why is it so hard to get Christian to do what they say the believe? It shouldnt be hard. Compassion should come naturally to us as children of God who have received the grace and mercy of God. We shouldnt even have to say it’s needed, it should just happen.
Yet it seems to me that we have become a society that cares more about being heard than about hearing. That cares more about making a point than about the person on the other side of that point.
Offering compassion doesnt mean we caused the pain. It doesnt mean we are guilty. It means we care. It means we see the pain of others as a problem and are willing to step out of our own comfort to sit with them in that problem. I wonder, what things would look like today, if instead of everyone trying to yell their point and prove they were right, if we’d just listen to each other. Respect each other. Be compassionate towards those who are hurting. Demonstrate the love of the Gospel. And ultimately, work together to make the world a little better.