I guess it’s because I’m old or maybe just because I haven’t landed anywhere in the church, but lately I’ve been taking stock, reviewing history, wondering how I got here.
And by here, I mean nowhere, sadly. I’m disconnected and adrift. I can’t seem to find my people.
I spent years in a church that was a bad fit. All the signs were there, in neon, yet I allowed myself to be convinced that I was the problem. I was too brash, too confrontational, divisive. Time and time again, I retreated and allowed myself to be silenced in efforts to be a “good girl” or a mature christian woman. The message was clear: Follow the status quo, don’t ask questions, don’t show so much weakness.
I could never strike the balance. I watched other people share just enough vulnerability to appear humble, but still maintain a veneer of control and success. I envied them. They were esteemed as mature. My mask never stayed in place. I was all in, real, raw. My heart was on my sleeve. I asked a lot of questions. I secretly thought of myself whenever I watched the classic The Sound of Music and heard the nuns sing Maria.I always felt like I was a problem to be solved.
I used to be one of you, exclusively. In the interest of objectivity, I’ll throw out my bias here and let you know, politically speaking, I have no idea where I fall anymore. I am all over the map. I still have conservative leanings. Occasionally, I still enjoy a good Chicks on the Right or even (shhhh, don’t tell anyone) Matt Walsh post. To be clear, I often read them, as I like a wide array of perspectives, it’s just that I only enjoy them occasionally.
I read the comments, too.
I have to tell you. As a former you, I’m a little appalled at the hate speech. The vitriol is thick. You seem to really relish in painting all liberals with a really broad, nasty brush.
Don’t worry. I've read plenty of comments from the other side, also. The vitriol is thick over there, too. Turns out, you’re all unthinking idiots, as well.
But, dear conservatives, you get this post because you have one bomb in your repertoire that you use liberally, no pun intended. And it needs to stop.
You probably thought it was so clever the first time you heard it. A genius mish-mash of liberal and retard, blended together to show those filthy liberals just how stupid and worthless they really are.
Except it’s not clever. It’s lazy. Instead of articulating a valid argument to characterize the flaws in another’s point of view, you just sling a name at them to make yourself feel better. So clever. Perhaps you should consider the old adage: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
But it’s more than lazy; it’s hate speech.
By using that word, you’re no longer just slamming your opponents. Now, you’re marginalizing and denigrating an entire people group, those who have fallen under the medical diagnosis, Mentally Retarded (now known as Intellectually or Cognitively Disabled.) And, frankly, those people put up with enough crap without you trying to puff yourself up with your own importance at their expense. Stop it! And don’t tell me you didn't mean it that way or you weren't talking about them. As the mom of two boys who fall into that category, I don’t believe you. You are making a clear and distinct comparison to my boys and people like them when you choose to use your own particular brand of that word.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re rolling your eyes and thinking about your right to freedom of speech, by golly, and how this politically correct business has gone too far.
Maybe. Except, I’m telling you that using the R-word, in any form, is incredibly hurtful to me and to families like mine. It wounds us a little each and every time we hear it or read it, even in the comments section on polarizing articles.
You may not realize this, dear conservatives, but people to the left of you view you collectively as a group who doesn't care about people, only about your rights and your need to be right.
So here’s your chance, conservatives. Stop using libtard. Grow a vocabulary and prove them wrong! Care about people, after all. Maybe then you will actually be heard.
(I usually only blog over at Grace for That, but I copied this whole post here, because it matters so much to me.)
I turned off the computer and went to bed, completely green with envy. Sleep wouldn’t come. One of my friends was jetting off to an exotic land on a missions trip with her daughter, and another on a tropical romantic get-away with her husband. Proof in pictures for both displayed on Facebook. I couldn’t stand to think about it, but could think of nothing else.
My discontent had been brewing for weeks.
While I adore these children God has entrusted me with, there is no denying that the special needs life can be trying. I had been focusing only on the trials.
Recently, the radio station I listen to has been encouraging listeners to call in to win a trip. Always up for a contest, I reached for my phone the first time it was announced. As I punched in the number, I suddenly stopped as awareness swept over me. I hit end call, instead. Even if we won a trip, we couldn’t go. There is no one who could watch Bo for an extended time.
She makes some excellent points and her intent is to spur us on to stick it out and to share our frustration with the leadership in our local church and not spew it all over social media. I get that. And, I agree with her that some of the criticism is petty. But, much of it is born out of pain and confusion. A lot of it is spot on...
Two years ago, we did what, at the time, seemed like the bravest, craziest, scariest thing. We left our seven children in the care of various people, flew across the world to a strange land, and claimed an unknown orphan as our own.
We look at that act now and think, “Duh. Of course we did. How else could we have gotten our Bo?”
Funny thing about the unknown. It always looks bigger than reality. It makes me wonder what things I have missed out on, dismissed out of hand because they looked too big, too scary. How many times have I let fear win and missed the “duh”? But, this time, I didn’t. I tear up just thinking about all the times I almost walked away...
So, I turn forty-five on the fifth of next month. FORTY-FIVE! How the heck did that happen?!? I very clearly remember being in my twenties. Wasn’t that just last week? I remember thinking, erroneously apparently, that people in their mid-forties must actually know what they are doing. They are grown-ups, after all.
Turns out, I was wrong. Or maybe all the other forty-five-year-olds do know what they’re doing and I’m the anomaly. That would be about right...
(That was just a short tease of my latest post on my new blog, Grace for That. Check out the rest of it and be sure and scroll to the bottom to sign up to receive all future posts in your inbox.)
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:11.
I memorized it in the second grade at the little Baptist school I attended, but I’ve pondered its meaning countless times in the years since. What is faith? Sometimes, as I listen to my fellow Christians bandy the word about, I want to declare, like Inigo Montoya, “You use that word a lot. I do not think it means what you think it means.”.....