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The “WE” we’re created to be!

August 10, 2014

For the past days, my heart has been greatly unsettled. I woke up this morning … feeling the Lord tug at my heart to study, pray and work out these thoughts. This may take a minute!

Every day in this world there is plenty of “unrest” for which we should be broken and concerned. There is an overwhelming degree of daily diatribe, and acts of evil-doing — so much of it that perhaps we come to accept that we are powerless against it and/or we “adapt” to living amongst it. God forbid that we have become part of it … and yet, “the only way for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”

I have been following the horrific situation that is taking place in Iraq. I find it frightening. We have been involved there far too long, fighting against what seems to be “evil-doing” … and with what seems to be futile efforts. Evil seems to prevail. This is not a “new situation” by any measure. These kinds of circumstances have taken place for all time. It’s just that without global media coverage, it was much easier to remove ourselves and dismiss any notion that we have some humanitarian responsibility in such situations.

As I said, there are plenty of situations in this world for which we should be broken and concerned — many just as horrific as what is taking place in Iraq.   Many of these atrocities are fostered out of politics, practices and passions that we can’t and don’t fully understand and it is so very difficult to “know” which side, or even if we should side, with which to associate. We don’t and can’t know everything … but we “think” we know evil and dysfunction when we see it.

Standing back, watching these folks in other parts of the world destroy one another, I question why they cannot come to some common ground. I can’t fathom how horrible it must be to try to function, raise a family, and simply survive with these daily doses of fear and fighting.

I wonder how we, “ ‘mericans” would bear up against such third world problems, especially when I see how we treat each other in our “first world” society. And then a thought came to me … in light of the dysfunction and divisions that we continue to foster or perpetuate through differences in politics, religion and economics … are we giving way for “evil to prevail” in our own culture? Will we one day submit to the oppression and practices of convert or be killed?

This may sound far-fetched in the greatest democracy on the face of the Earth … but in light of how we behave toward one another through one of the very foundations of democracy — free elections — I think we are in serious and dire danger of becoming exactly what we “say” we stand against.   Are you not a witness to this declination as well?

Recently, I was challenged with the perception that I become distraught when people do not think as I think or believe what I believe. I find this “perception” to be unsettling. I don’t want everyone to think just like me … I simply want them “to think”. I don’t expect everyone to “believe” as I believe … no more than I expect to believe or adhere to the same doctrines or dogma as another. I simply desire “respect” for such diversity.   But, alas, I believe that we are too hell-bent on enforcing the practice that “if thee and me cannot agree — then thee and me cannot be we!” This fosters isolation and division … and FEAR.

Evidently, it makes us all feel a lot more comfortable in our skin when we are “vanilla” in our groups rather than embracing the wonders and incredible awesomeness of the diversity in God’s Creation. It would seem that we feel a lot more comfortable when we are able to “control” situations and groups or individual people … so that diversity is limited rather than celebrated.

This need for control is ungodly by itself, but the means by which we try to implement control only comes from Satan — the enemy of God. Such means include intimidation, ridicule, insults, constant bickering, slandering, discrimination, and emotional and physical abuse or assault (even murder).

My heart is broken … and I’m tired of it being broken. I struggle almost daily with feelings of rejection, distrust and loneliness. You might notice that I work desperately to create situations where I won’t feel so lonely … only to experience the manifestations of distrust and rejection. If I guard my heart against rejection by distrusting people, I succumb to loneliness. If I seek out people who share a similar interest with me to lessen the distrust, then I open the door for rejection.   The desire to fit in and pursuit for community greatly impedes (and are impeded by) my innate passion to thrive as an individual, creative, liberated child of God.

Personally, I believe that what this all boils down to is that individuality should triumph over the need to “fit in” or belong to the whole. (The key point being, “NEED TO FIT IN.”) Certainly, no one wants to be ostracized, rejected or dismissed. While it might seem natural to have control, no one wants to feel “controlled” with their individuality being compromised. I believe strongly that we are “created for community,” but much like the “Body” was created with many different, diverse parts … so should be the community. We CAN be different and function more efficiently and effectively than if we are all exactly the same. I shudder at the thought of every person being exactly the same … cookie cutter, test-tube created, cloned and manufactured.

It is very frightening to me to know that there are people and factions in this world who want such control that everyone MUST BE EXACTLY THE SAME in their beliefs and behaviors. It is very frightening to me that we Americans … are letting ourselves become so distracted by our own pursuits of this “homogenizing” of our society, that we cannot see that we are contributing to the problem.

THINK LIKE ME!!! BE LIKE ME!!! ACT LIKE ME!!! DRESS LIKE ME!!! LOOK LIKE ME!!! BELIEVE LIKE ME!!! SPEAK LIKE ME!!! EAT LIKE ME!!! LOVE LIKE ME!!! SPEND LIKE ME!!! DO LIKE ME!!! VOTE LIKE ME!!!

I’ve seen diverse groups of people rise up and accomplish great things in situations like natural disasters or combat. We pull together to build barns, put out fires, stamp out cancer, and send shoeboxes of necessities and other gifts to children in third world countries. WHY … WHY do we let our diversity come between us and create such dysfunction in our daily lives and specifically the operations of our government, economy, and worship? Why do we divide ourselves into tribes and war against each other rather than recognize that WE TRULY NEED EACH OTHER and those incredible wide variety of thoughts, skills, gifts and talents to help us THRIVE as individuals and a community will only help us THRIVE AS THE HUMAN RACE! Without each individual … there can be no “WE.”

When I see those poor people in Iraq suffering, starving, fearing for their lives … chased and stranded on that mountain-top —

CONVERT or DIE! BE LIKE US or suffer the consequences!

If we are not there yet … is this where we are going? Do we really want to accept a world and mentality where CONFORMITY is deemed as UNITY and the only means of survival?

Who will be on that mountain-top when it comes to you and me? Who will be doing the chasing and wielding the weapons, inflicting the oppression and destroying the diversity and awesomeness of God’s Creation?

Will it be you? Will it be me? Will we stand together embracing the worth of each individual … or will we chase away anyone who is different … who does not think, speak, vote, act, eat, breathe, sing, dance, love, dress, work, worship, live like … you, or me … US?

Will WE find a way to unite in our diversity … or shall we continue into the oblivion of comfortable homogenization fostering [and fostered by] fear, oppression, and the destruction of the “WE” that we’re created to be?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74U4FCrsfjI

 

 

 

 

 

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