Friday, July 25, 2014

People are loud

People are loud.

They want to be heard. They want to stand apart for the sole purpose of being seen. They want you to know that they see the world a certain way. And everyone thinks that their own loud opinion is the right one.

 The reason I say this, is because there are some very huge issues going on in our world that everyone seems to have an opinion on. We could talk for days on controversial issues like gay marriage, immigration or the war in Gaza. On one hand I believe that we should be educated and informed and we should always be grasping onto truth and lining up our worldview with the Word of God.

 But can we please just take a moment to breathe?

I hear things and see people screaming their opinion so loud that they have absolutely no room for the people they are screaming to. So many people are fueled by anger instead of the things that God instructs us to be fueled by. Yes, I have my opinions about what is going on in our country, but I hope I never make my opinion more important than the soul I am talking to. I will speak truth, but I will strive to speak it in love. I may not agree that two men should be sleeping together, but that doesn't mean that those two men are any less of a human than you or I. I don't believe that thousands of children should be flooding our borders in Texas, but if there are children who are starving and in danger of being sold as a sex slave, then I sure as heck will do anything I can to take care of them. 

I've been friends with straight people, with lesbians, with white and Asian people, with conservatives and with liberals. I will give my opinion, and I'm not afraid to express what I believe. But that person standing in front of me is a human being. The people that we disagree with still have souls. And without love, your opinion really means nothing at the end of the day. At the end, I believe truth will stand. But at the end of your life, were you just a loud voice among all the other loud voices, or did you leave an impression on the hearts of people by sharing the truth in love? Do you care more about being right than you do about the lives and the stories and the struggles that each and every one of us face?

I don't think a lot of good comes out of everyone trying to be more right then the next person. I don't think that this loud, giant, rumbling, chaotic mess is very productive. I'm not against getting the truth out there. I work at a tv station that produces news every single day for goodness' sake. But lately I've just noticed so many harsh statements being thrown at one another. You can spread news and spread truth, but let's check our motives. Let's check the tone in our voice. We can be passionate individuals who can passionately spread the truth while passionately loving others. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Facebook Message

Today, I was scrolling through facebok. Pretty normal thing to do in this day and age. I didn't see anything special, or exciting. In fact, everything was pretty normal.

Among the normality, was a post that stuck out to me. It didn't stick out to me because it was something rare or even all that interesting. It was actually the kind of post I see almost every single day.

It was a prayer request.

Some people had commented with "I'm praying for you!" or something very similar. There were even a handful of people that had liked the post. I began to comment as well with something along those same lines. I was about to tell this person that I would take time out of my life to pause, and to pray on her behalf. I was about to subtly give my word in a simple facebook comment, with the words "I'll be praying for you".

But I stopped myself. In just a few seconds, I felt the weight of all the times that I said I would pray for someone. How many times have I said that, and then walked away and forgot just a few minutes later? How many times has someone heard the words "I'll pray for you" and in the back of their mind, didn't actually expect to be prayed for?

I'm not saying that I don't have the good intention of praying for people. I do. But does my good intention actually find itself in my daily to-do list?

I felt this butterfly in my stomach, and knew that I needed to do more than just leave a comment. I knew, that if I was in a situation where I posted something on facebook asking for prayer, that it would mean the world to me to know that someone was actually praying for me.

So, instead, I send her a private message. I told her how I was going to leave a comment, but felt that I should actually just type out my prayer right there and then. So that's what I did. I typed out a prayer, asking God to meet her in her time of need. And then I sent it.

My heart was pounding so hard, but my spirit was dancing. I was so nervous that she would find me weird or strange, because to be entirely honest, I don't even know her that well. I've maybe seen her in person twice. But there was a much bigger part of me that didn't listen to the fear trying to leak into my mind.

Not long after, I actually received a reply from her. The message she sent back, made me tear up. Because I was willing to send her that prayer, it truly blessed her. She couldn't believe I had actually taken the time to do that, even though we barely know each other. We messaged back and forth a few times, and it ended up being the kind of conversation that seriously brightened my whole day.

Not only did it bless her, but it significantly blessed me. It made me feel so secure in listening to that still small butterfly that nudged me to send her a prayer. God doesn't lead us into traps. He doesn't ask us to do things so he can humiliate us or harm us. I can almost bet that when God has you step out of your comfort zone for the need of others, you will find yourself blessed and encouraged in the process.

I didn't write this because I'm so proud of myself for sending her that prayer. I'm writing this to encourage us. I'm writing this because it doesn't matter if you are sitting next to someone and holding their hand, or if you are 500 miles away and sending a facebook message. I want to take the opportunity to pray for people a lot more seriously. A mere 60 seconds out of our day could change the world. Don't ever underestimate the power of your prayers. Don't ever think that a short prayer isn't important. God hears us even if it's typed.

I hear a lot of people talking about how social media is actually allowing us to isolate and distance ourselves. While that is actually true to some degree, I also believe that social media gives us a huge opportunity. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to send a prayer or an encouragement to someone. It takes such a small amount of time to send a simple text that lets someone know that you are thinking of them. You never know how a small encouragement can completely change somebody's day.

I want us all to be more careful. I want us to pay attention every time we say the words "I'll pray for you". Don't just have the good intentions, but actually take the time to pray. It shouldn't matter if it's awkward. It shouldn't matter if we are in the middle of the lobby at the bank, the fast food drive through, or the comfort of our own home. You never know how special those small moments will be to another life.