As I have watched many of the events in the American news cycle this past year, I have felt a range of different emotions—sadness, frustration, disappointment, and confusion.
I have watched news of the riots that took place recently in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have watched the news from Dallas, Texas, and from Ferguson, Missouri, and now from San Diego, California, where violence, looting, and stealing have been rampant. Lives lost, others forever changed.
I have listened to presidential candidates seek to destroy one another, name calling and stooping to preschool-type behavior all while trying to persuade us that they are the ones best suited to run our country. I watch as our leaders lie and deceive us, seemingly without consequence, when the truth is right before us.
I have heard of baby parts being sold on the black market. Baby parts! Do we even comprehend the evil it takes to do such a thing? We hear outcry over suspected criminals being shot, yet we murder more than three thousand babies a day! A day!
I have seen people vilify law enforcement for maintaining order and security. Does it not occur to those who are taunting and disrespecting police that these officers are human beings? That they are people with families who pray for their safe return at the end of every shift?
I have seen spoiled, entitled athletes and other members of our society decide that it’s okay to spit in the faces of those who have fought and continue to fight to defend our nation. They disrespect the very flag that represents the right they have to speak their minds.
As I look around at the chaos perpetuating itself throughout our nation, from government dishonesty all the way on down to riotous conduct by people in the streets, I am honestly astounded with regard to the depths to which we have fallen as a society. While I cannot claim to have walked in others’ shoes or to know what it’s like to be of a minority race or to be poverty stricken, as a mother, my heart is broken. Not because of wrongs done to me personally but because I wonder what the future holds for my children.
So, fed up with all I have seen, I decided it was my job to fix the situation! I sat down to write a post. I began it as an open letter—one full of frustration, disappointment, and annoyance.
My intention was, in some ways, to point a finger at people engaging in these behaviors. To tell you all whose fault I think it is. I thought about suggesting that it was the government’s fault, since in many ways our political leaders have facilitated much of the behavior of our day and are responsible for a portion of the unrest and social degeneration we see. I thought about pointing to certain civil-rights groups or even church leaders.
But as I pondered and prayed, and as I listened to counsel from a wise friend, the old adage “When one finger is pointing forward, four are pointing back at you” came to mind. Not that I am directly responsible for any of these issues, but the question I began to consider is, have I been complicit in the unrest I see around me by keeping silent regarding the things I see happening? Has my desire to be a loving, kind Christian actually helped pave the way for some of the issues facing us today?
While it’s true that we gain nothing by pointing the finger at others, it’s also true that as Christians, we must speak up against wrongdoing. It’s as Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias recently said: “If you and I don’t stand up and speak with love, and speak with concern, the day will come, as Margaret Thatcher warned us, that if the church does not rise up and speak, the political structure will collapse.”
We have become a church full of silent people! We are afraid. We are scared of being labeled. We have become so politically correct that we are crippled. As Christians, we have somehow come to think that speaking truth is not loving, not Christian. But love speaks truth. Love is just. Love speaks for righteousness. Love serves; it does not take; but love is not always easy, not always pretty, often times hard to hear. Jesus spoke out against unrighteousness, sin, and lawless behavior. We are His voice here on earth. We, I, need to start using our voice.
So I am asking, as a Christian mom, how do I teach my children not to lay down in the face of unrighteousness yet still love? How do I teach them to be strong and courageous but also to have hearts to serve others and show empathy toward them? How do I teach them to block out the voices that tell them they are owed something in this entitled generation and grow into responsible servants in society?
The truth is this: Americans owe a debt we can never repay. We owe a debt to the Pilgrims who decided in the face of persecution to say “No more.” We owe a debt to our founding fathers who, despite what some may believe, laid down laws that not only granted and perpetuated freedom but honored God above all. We owe a debt to those who have fought for our freedom, not only in foreign lands but on our own soil. We owe a debt to those who have said “No more” to oppression and segregation—those who gave their lives for peaceful resolution and change and who spoke wisdom and truth. Above all, we owe a debt to Jesus. He came, He died, He rose, and He did it for one purpose: to give you and me life and to call us into His service.
People have sacrificed their lives for my children’s freedom, just as they have for every individual blessed enough to call America home. In light of that great sacrifice, should we sit quietly for the sake of political correctness and tolerance so as not to rock the boat? I know I can’t. I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch while the fabric of our nation is slowly unraveled by selfish, lawless, and godless behavior.
So as I put away my pointing finger, I pray that God would instead use me to be His voice. Not to shrink back, not to be afraid—but to stand for truth and righteousness.