Watering Hole: Drawing Dividing Lines

God often starts something new from the places of brokenness. – Pastor Chad Garrison

This weeks questions:

  • What lies in the rubble in your life, or around you, that you need to stop walking past, and simply call out?
  • Take time this week to bring these to Jesus. How He is compelling you to respond in action?
  • Don’t do it alone! Who can you ask to help encourage and keep you accountable in living out your hope?

As I have pondered these questions and my path this week, I can’t help but sense the rubble around me is the political climate. The whole system is in disarray. It’s to the point where one can not speak to another without an emotional outburst, a puffing of chest, and slinging of words of disagreement. I see Christians who will graciously nod and acknowledge one another in the same room in Bible studies or Sunday services and on Facebook, they will strip each other of the dignity of being Christ’s and rip each other to shreds for what they post. This use to be unacceptable behavior. It has the flavor of smiling to the face and then stabbing in the back. It’s disgusting and hypocritical. This is the rubble I see. When I was a kid, these two squabbling children would have been spanked and sat in opposite corners until they figured out how to get along. No longer do we live in the day where we are required to be civil to one another regardless of what position we take. Can I just say it? It is not OK to steal from, kill, or destroy people who aren’t like you! We live in America for goodness sake! I am saddened to tears over the state of our nation. Where do we go from here? Over the last 4 years, I have watched as we have step by step been lead by fear and anger to a place where we no longer regard a human as mattering on either side for that matter. I’ve seen republicans bite and devour democrats. I’ve seen democrats rip and shred republicans. I’ve seen Christians in their stand become the most unloving people I have ever seen. I’ve seen non-Christians in their stance seek to silence and dismantle who they perceive to be on the opposing side. It’s to the point that to ask clarifying questions to understand is taken as an affront to the cause and you are labeled without cause as a dissenter. How much more broken do we need to get?

Now, if you are reading this, you are probably thinking, “Wow, these are some strong words.” Yes, they are! I have a question, Where does this path lead? If we are on this trajectory, where do we end up? Where is the solace? Where is the hope? From where will help come? I can see how both sides are grabbing and clawing at those who are watching and thinking, “I want nothing of this!” Both sides are starting to scream, “You are either with us, or you are against us!” To which I say, “Neither!” When Joshua tried to take this stance, he came up against God. Joshua 5:13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Here’s what I know, as long as we stay on the surface and point fingers, we will not heal. Heart issues destroy relationships! Heart issues destroy nations! I can not change the world or this nation, nor the way it is hurling itself into the future, but I can reach out and speak the truth in love one person at a time. When one person’s heart is touched, it sends ripples across the universe. Finding those hearts is where I will spend my time and energy. I am asking you to do the same. As an old man once told my younger and much more angry and pointing fingered self, “If you get in the ring with a pig, you just come out of the ring dirty and smelling like one.” When we feel ourselves drawing dividing lines, this is the time to take off our shoes, humble ourselves before God, and ask, “what does my Lord say to his servant?” Our hope comes from the Lord, who makes beauty from ashes and creates new things from brokenness. 

All is grace,

Starla

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