Do we have the power to change the world?
With the election showing the country divided 50/50, and each side so dismissive of the other, the only clear thing right now is that we desperately need healing.
It’s a great concept. But how is that ever going to happen? When Biden emphasized that point, he got fewer honks and cheers than he did in the rest of his speech. Trump has no intention of trying to bridge the gap. With such strong differences in our world, I wondered, “What can I do in my limited world that would make any difference?”
I can make a difference in my limited world. My vote was the least I could do. It’s time to start talking and stop condemning.
Recently, in the process of discussing faith matters with a young friend of mine, we broached the topic of abortion. Dangerous. Right? It wasn’t.
When she told me that she didn’t understand why the Catholic Church had a problem with abortion, I asked her why she believed it was okay.
I didn’t attack her for being evil. I know this young woman. She has a huge heart filled with kindness and joy, and everyone around her feels it.
I didn’t throw teachings and pictures at her to “prove” that she was horribly wrong, with shock and disgust at how she could possibly even think such a thing. None of those things would have helped her to continue a conversation with me. That door would have closed quickly and securely.
Instead, I listened and discovered that her beautiful heart was deeply connected to her beliefs and understanding. I applauded her for that. And I meant it. I saw her for who she truly was. And I loved her for it.
Then, and only then, could we talk about where the teachings came from. Then, and only then, could we wrestle through her issues together, allowing her the time to form her own conscience, not just take on mine. Then, and only then, could I walk with her, watching her faith start to bloom more and more vibrantly.
We can’t change this world with proclamations and sound bites. It has to be personal. It has to be filled with love.
If you don’t have love for the person you’re preaching to, whether online, in your social media, or in-person, stop preaching and return when you have love in your heart. Not the pious, “I love them as a child of God, therefore I must correct them and show them how they are wrong,” kind of love, but a love that sees them as a child of God who is trying to do good.
There are very few people out there who are intentionally evil. Very few. If you think you have found them, and they number more than zero, think again.
Then go out and make a difference in your world.