He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
We all go through times in our lives when we are growing and questioning our basic beliefs. When I have gone through this in the past, I haven’t actually questioned God, but I do question the way humans live out their faith in the name of God. I am once again wrestling with what it means, for me, to live out my Christian faith.
My current “faith struggle” has been brewing for quite some time. I don’t think it is a secret that I am socially liberal, although I try very hard not to rub it in the faces of those with differing opinions. Plus, I am in the clear minority in my area. I really don’t want everyone I know to be pissed at me all the time. However, my heart truly hurts when I hear the comments that “Christians” make so flippantly on a day-to-day basis. Generalizations are spoken about how anyone on government assistance must be lazy and worthless, anyone without a job must be lazy and worthless, all these people do is sit home and do drugs, and the list (sadly) goes on and on and on and on. And now….add in all the opinions on the refugee crisis and it has become almost too much for my soul. I haven’t even brought up the other issues that are causing huge divides such as race issues, marriage equality or the political differences that seem to divide us further each day.
I am not afraid of ISIS. I am not afraid of Muslims. I am not afraid of refugees. I am not afraid of people who are any color other than white. I am not afraid of people on welfare. I am not afraid of LBGT having equal rights. I am afraid of complacent, holier-than-thou Christians. I am afraid of becoming a complacent, holier-than-thou Christian. And I am afraid of my own judgments against this group of people, because they make me very angry.
As a result of this, I have allowed myself to become disheartened with ALL of Christianity and with ALL of humanity. I am no better than the people who have angered me, because I have allowed anger and judgment to enter into my heart. That stops today (well….my journey to stop that has started. 😉
I think the root of the problem is that we (ALL of us) refuse to see the people in these issues as fellow human beings. We MUST remind ourselves that each person is a Child of God and loved unconditionally by God. (I MUST remind myself that person who spews negative, generalized statements is a Child of God and loved unconditionally by God.)
I know I can’t change the world. I know I can’t change even my city. All I can change is my reaction to the negativity that is out there. Today, I pledge to see each person as a Child of God, loved unconditionally by God and I vow to treat them as such.
A part of the journey to the place in which I find myself today was the urge to get another tattoo. I began to realize that one way I would deal with my current struggle would be to use my next tattoo as an expression of my faith. I knew that Micah 6:8 would be the verse on which my tattoo would be centered, as it is my FAVORITE verse of all time and it is the verse to which I turn the most in living out my faith.
I also REALLY want a Texas tattoo on my ankle that is specifically running related. When I made the tat appointment a few weeks ago, I fully intended to go ahead with the ankle tat and save Micah 6:8 for later on down the road. But God had other plans. In the past week, I have seen some version of Micah 6:8 EVERY SINGLE DAY, multiple times. I was paying attention, for once, and realized that now was the time for Micah 6:8.
So a couple of friends and I went yesterday and we each got a tattoo that was very meaningful to us. Ben, our artist, showed me my drawing last, but I caught a glimpse of it before he got around to me and it took my breath away. It was amazing and perfect. I am so glad that I paid attention to those little clues God was sending me!
Remember….pray with your feet.
May God bless your Thanksgiving!