When I look at the world I know, I see a bright prism of things I love.
If you were to ask me my perspective on any world issue, I'd have to tell you I am a black and white kind of gal; fiercely driven by the right, the just and the kind.
You wanna know what matters to me? Here goes:
1. Tolerance. Not that tug of war between your opinion and my opinion, or either of us trying to convince the other of our rightness, and the others wrongness. No. Tolerance is a chosen skill, and it takes work. Tolerance does not require acceptance, but it DOES require understanding and a glimmer of respect for someone else's opinion, conviction or chosen path in life.
2. Having a heart for the world and the things I believe God holds important. This excludes politics and agendas, and national opinions and big mouths with small minds. The God I know grieves at the starving child in Africa, or in the grade 1 classroom in your city. The God I know weeps for those caught in a storm of genocide and a world that turns a blind, unimpacted, indifferent glance. The God I know looks at the grieving, the broken hearted, the discarded and societies "less than's" and sends out a charge...to YOU, and to ME. His question is, "What are you going to do about it?" The God I know doesn't measure sin on a sliding scale of bad to worse, nor does He punish this way. The things that break the heart of the God I know are real heart issues, NOT whether or not gays can marry or be given the same rights as everyone else. Any Christian thinking of throwing their opinion and hatred at this issue should remember that Christ always had a heart for the opressed and shunned, and when asked to pass judgement or mercy? He ALWAYS chooses mercy and love.
3. Making a difference. It used to be abstract to me. Out there, inspiring me in my highschool classroom with a guest speaker, or an amazing trailblazer being featured on a TV show. It has hung over my head for years, without a form or an identity, until I ventured to do something revolutionary. What was that, you may ask? It's one small, 3 letter word.
Your foray into service doesn't have to be loud and splashy. Paying for a strangers coffee? You just did it. Serving in a soup kitchen once a month? Bravo. Offering to take the kids for a stressed out Mom? You'll never know the full weight of this kindness. You may never know the ripple effects of your actions, but I assure you, that your attempts along with millions of other people everyday who choose to do one kind thing a day...they matter. They bear value..and they restore those frayed edges of humanity.
4. Love. It's so many things that create a happy life. It's patience. It's kindness. It's slow to anger. It's HARD work. But choosing everyday to love, those who you do life with, and those who life forces to the periphery...it's the only thing we've got sometimes. None of us will get to the end of our lives wishing for more time at work, more money in our bank account, or a bigger TV in our livingroom...but we will hopefully all be ushered into the next life surrounded by those who love us deeply and are sending us into the expectant arms of those who love us even more.
5. Understanding. On so many levels, aren't we all just trying to understand and be understood? I have chosen over the last few years, that being around people who inspire me and push me, and are honest with me...those are the people I want to be understood by. The ones who have my back at the best and worst turns in life. I've turned my back on some who relentlessly question my judgements, or my intentions, or my heart...because they will never understand me, and I will never understand them. I wish them well, and I let them go. I'm on a mission to understand so much.
I think the biggest queries are finally finding their resolutions as I knock on 37 this year.
I hear a resounding response when I ask just what this life is all about. The God I know speaks to me so I understand...and do you know what He says to me?
"Roll on Jenny...you've got this."
Where's your list, friend? xo