As a nation, we are in a time of great emotional unrest. Covid-19 has most people on edge in some way. Continued racial reckoning is difficult, painful and real. And we are more tribalized and divided, primarily because of social media and politics, than we have been since the Civil War.
The truth “on the ground” is that there have been very few events which have brought the physical unrest of violence, riots and death. Media, from all “sides,” have amplified those few as they are in the business of getting and keeping your attention, not sowing peace.
Though we are not experiencing a season of widespread civil unrest, we are experiencing deep emotional, relational and cultural unrest. It creates an underlying uneasiness in our souls. We are sorting one another constantly by a handful of “litmus test” issues and the resulting division is sad and dangerous. So as Jesus-people, when we find ourselves in the midst of a time like this, what do we do?
The Bible is full of stories which give me hope for such a season. In particular, there are plenty of times in the history of the people of God when societal realities were very difficult – much worse in fact than what we’re experiencing. Oftentimes it was the result of the ways in which people had abandoned the simple, beautiful ways of God – rooted in loving him and loving one another. Each time, there was a small remnant of faithful people who lamented, with great sadness, repentance and crying out, the time they were in. Then they did whatever they could to restore things. Renew them. It was always rooted in faithfulness to God, humility, truth-telling, hope and love for one another.
So as the soul of our nation groans with uneasiness, let us, instead of entrenching for a “war” that is mostly of words and ideas and cry out to God. Let us humble ourselves daily asking, “Lord, what do you want me to see? What do you want me to do? How can I love you and love those around me today?” As the people of God seek the good of the land and the good of our neighbor, even if it’s just a few of us, history would tell us that it’s enough. He listens, and He always restores, somehow.
Grace and Peace,