Permission

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”‬‬

Ephesians 4:2

The hard season of injustice seems like it may never end, doesn’t it? I’m giving myself permission to talk about it because I care about black people. I care about all people. And since Jesus cared about us enough to come down here and take the penalty We deserved so We could be free, And since I believe he did that for every single living human being, and since I believe the Word of God is absolutely true, I would be remiss to not speak.

Can we the church agree to give all people of all colors and beliefs permission to be the image bearers that God created them to be without making them justify who they are to us? Can we stop being like Job’s “friends” and stop telling others how they should feel and how if they were just better people bad things wouldn’t happen to them? Can we stand with our black and brown Jesus loving, Jesus following brothers and sisters and let them know we are with them? Can we be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in the world who haven’t met him yet?

I really hope we can change. I certainly know that Jesus would want us to change.

Check out FiveMinuteFriday.

Pressure

This past year, like most every adult in the USA, I have experienced extreme pressure such as I haven’t experienced in 8 or so years. It felt like the world exploded as a perfect storm of pandemic, racial injustice, and the election all coalesced.

I did my best to keep up with all the details surrounding all the things. I advocated for people to wear masks on social media and in real life. I explained why it is important even though it isn’t perfect.

When all the reports of murdered black people exploded on social media, I dove headfirst into purposefully relearning American history, wanting to be an ally because I have no doubt Jesus would be and I want to be like him.

Between the pandemic, the racial injustice, and the election, the USA became louder and angrier than I’ve ever witnessed in all 57 years of my life.

By mid summer I thought the pressure might crush me. I scaled back on all the things. I had to because I care sooo much about people that I cannot afford to burn out.

Life is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. I am one person, I cannot fix the world on my own. Only God can undo all of our sin.

Scaling back helped me to see how I can help. I can continue being a nurse and advocate for my patients and coworkers. I can use my vote and communicate to my senators and representatives to advocate for change. I can financially support organizations who are on the frontlines for change. I can be informed about all the issues and be encouraging to people right in front of my face. I can keep praying for the church to remember to be the church and not a nationalist organization. And finally, I can keep praying for the God of peace and justice to rain down restoration on us all.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

— ‭‭James‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Friends, let’s be like the people Jesus told us to be. Let’s love one another as he loves us. Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s fight the good fight so the world will know that the Lord reigns and the Kingdom is here on earth as in heaven!

Happy FiveMinuteFriday!

Gentle

What’s so good about Good Friday? I’m currently doing a one year chronological Bible reading plan. With the Lord timing is everything. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe in the sovereignty of God. So today, on this Good Friday, I’m in Exodus (because I began this plan on March 1) and I just read how the firstborn of Egypt have died. I am a firstborn. I have a firstborn. I know a lot of firstborns. Wow!

Jesus Christ, is the Lamb of God, the Passover lamb. Jesus Christ is also a firstborn!

You guys! Jesus was not the One anyone expected. We’re so bound and determined to fight our way to the top, to destroy anyone who gets in our way, to prove we’re right. He came into our world and we didn’t even see him because he wasn’t the hero we were expecting.

But oh! He is definitely the Hero we’ve been waiting for!

See the man there, healing the sick, holding the children, teaching the people, feeding the multitude. He is strongly gentle. He is compassionate. He is kind. He loves all of us. He loves us so much, he weeps when we die. He loves us so much, he dies as we mock him.

All. So. We. Might. Live.

This isn’t just Good Friday, it’s the best Friday.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

— ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy FiveMinuteFriday!