Made it to another Tuesday!
I’ve been whiling away the time at Starbucks on Tumblr this morning, listening to Tupac, Rent and the Vitamin String Quartet and trying to avoid all the opinions exploding on my Facebook newsfeed about racism, police brutality and who’s more disgusting.
I’m not sure if anyone fully appreciates how different it is for me to blog as an opinionated person without jumping on every bandwagon of public outrage that sweeps through every few weeks/months. My family will be the first to tell you that I’m not shy about what I think, especially when I’m in the sanctuary of my home.
I used to mouth off a lot when I was out and about too. I was at my most intense during high school, and that’s part of the reason why I made people so uncomfortable. If I disagreed with you, I was going to tell you and I was about zero percent sorry if you disagreed. I remember a specific situation where I was ‘intervening’ with one of my good friends from youth group out of friendly concern because he was listening to Good Charlotte and I was worried about his spiritual wellbeing. I meant so well, but I always laugh when I think of it because to this day “The Anthem” is still my jam. (Shout out to all my chronically misunderstood, stick-it-to-man homies who know that punk never dies.)
Anyway, I’ve softened a bit in recent years and I’m not as quick to jump down people’s throats with my opinion the second something happens. There are a few exceptions, like when I hear about children being abused or something similar and I feel the rage rising like steam off my skin and I can’t help myself and I’m making some passionate declaration about what I’d like to say to so-and-so.
We live in a world now where it’s just taken for granted that we owe it to everyone else to throw up a status or two utilizing all our intelligent language, to share an article or two with an edgy hook. Which camp are you in? Where do you fall in the divide? Oh, they did not just post that. “Hold my earrings, I’m about to hit this ignoramus with some knowledge right quick,” as we hit enter on another comment.
I know that this is just the way we are as humans and that people have been discussing and will discuss current events around the water cooler. Thirty years ago there were different issues and scandals and outbreaks, but they were still making their way to people’s lips. There just wasn’t social media for us to hide behind. I’m going to try to not make this an anti-internet post, because that’s not the point. I get that we have to utilize what’s on hand and be counter-cultural and be involved–I’m not knocking that. I have some very close friends that I respect that spend time advocating online and spreading awareness on major social justice issues, and these are the people who soften the generalizations I’m all too apt to make.
The point is (and here’s some more opinion for you) I feel like it’s too easy to reduce everything to this:
The struggle is so real for me when it comes to this, guys. I’m an INFJ, and I’m a words person. I mean, when I read books, poetry, hear spoken words or song lyrics, when I get to write my own words or hear a line in movies and I swear I can feel the dopamine coursing through my veins and I see galaxies and starlight and tones of sunlight at magic hour coating the whole world around me.
I mean, wow. Don’t you feel like you could run a marathon or fall in love or save the world? I used to watch this over and over again anytime I got stuck on papers in college and felt like I couldn’t go on and why go on and then Robin Williams entreats me to “seize the day” and I’m like okay, Robin, okay. I will. I will. For you, Robin.
I love what words can do.
They are a gift to us.
They can connect us.
They can inspire us.
(And I hate what words can do.
They are a curse on us.
They can divide us.
They can break us down.)
You know one of the most amazing things that’s ever said about Jesus is that he is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Think about that and what that entails. It means that all that God has ever said, or ever declared, is embodied in a human form that walked on earth. He was the perfect blend of words and actions. He knew when to be silent. He knew when to toss tables. He knew when to drop a word, or to draw silently in the dirt. Oh, that I could be that. That I could not throw out my words without following up with actions, at the right time, with the right intensity–just like Him.
On the same wave, I’ve had more than a normal dose of world changers in my life whose walk is equal if not surpassing to their talk and I think God knew I’d need that as a buffer to my fiery only-partially-justified, indignation that flares at all the wrong moments.
I have my parents, who have spent especially the last few years with all the people that the church often rejects: those in recovery. They’ve brought people into our house to stay temporarily, for holidays, given when it hurts, welcomed everyone and lived out scriptures in front of my eyes.
I have my good friend Hillary who spent the last two years in Tanzania who is now creating a non-profit for women who are being marginalized and is in the works of starting a preschool in an underdeveloped area by Lake Tanganyika.
I have my darling Meghan who lives in LA and writes long and hard about all of life because she’s a dreamer, a writer and a home for all, and no matter how hard it gets to try and to give, she always does because she’s a fighter and a do-er.
I have my girl Tori who keeps fighting to get to reservations around the States because she’s broken in half for Native Americans and even though she gets called names for being a white girl, she keeps going because she knows love means taking personal hits sometimes and she won’t let her actions be intimidated by words.
I have John Riding, who not only talks like a real life Professor Keating, but drives to the middle of nowhere to see a million lanterns be set off and you can almost see him whispering in his photos, “Seize the Day”.
I have Johnny who is helping to start up a Dream Center in Baltimore after spending some time with my baby bird Jenna on Skid Row where she’s wanted to be ever since I met her back in 2010–and she’s made it, guys.
I have Michelle who juggles full time work at the hospital to put herself through another semester of school so she can bring medical care to those who need it most and who gives second chances in almost every situation where I’d hold back.
The list goes on and ever on.
I have to stop mostly because I don’t want to start crying in Starbucks again.
So here’s to the do-ers that I’m blessed to know, to Jesus for being all He is and to the fact that #hashtags need some #action sometimes.