So they say God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes He works in really weird ways too. I recently got back from a trip to Florida. With potty stops and gas ups, it’s a 16 hour drive. So as you can imagine I was pretty tired when I went to bed on the night I got home. I woke up early the next day to go to church and the first image that popped into my mind when I woke up was an old television..and I was specifically focused on the antenna or as some people call them “rabbit ears”. I wasn’t dreaming about televisions…it just was the first thing that came to me. AND I got the impression from God that I needed to write about it. What??
Maybe you are young enough that you don’t even know what I’m talking about when I mention a TV antenna. Showing my age (sigh). Back in the day, when you wanted to change the channel on your television you had to actually get up and turn a dial on the TV. There were only a few channels and you were lucky if they came in clearly. This is where the “rabbit ears” or antenna came in handy. You would have to position them in different ways until the picture came into focus. Sometimes as soon as you let go and stepped away the static would return. We would gently let go and creep away as if to sneak away from the television. Hence the aluminum foil you see in the picture. That was a trick we would do to mimic the pressure of our hands. It was a delicate process and it was so frustrating!
In my last post, I talked a little bit about the election and why some people might be upset about the outcome. Since then, I’ve seen a ton of back and forth between people on Facebook. The one thing that really jumps out at me in these conversations is the need for some to be right. They argue their point so much that they lose sight of what the other person is trying to say. They dismiss the other person’s feelings.
When you look at someone’s situation, it may not be clear to you why they feel the way they do about what is happening. You may only see “static”. It doesn’t make sense to you. But for them, it is very real. Take the time to stop and listen. Flex your compassion muscles, even if you don’t totally understand, and maybe the “picture” may become a little clearer. It’s easy to dismiss someone’s feelings when we don’t understand. Try stepping into their shoes. Can we just agree that if you aren’t in a group of people who are marginalized, you might not get why they might be upset about something? You have nothing to worry about…but maybe they do?
I’ve seen so many people reply to comments, “Get over it already! There have been plenty of presidents that have won that I didn’t like. I wasn’t a cry baby about it.” These people aren’t “hearing” why these people are upset. Yes, maybe they voted for Hillary and she didn’t win. They are more upset about who won because of what it might mean for them. And again, if you aren’t in one of the marginalized groups, you may not get that, but for them it is a real concern.
I was hoping things would have calmed down by now. And it’s on both sides. We need to respect each other. Maybe agree to disagree at times. I can say that I see people with really strong opinions about things that they really don’t know anything about. I’ll give an example of something that I run into a lot…
People have admitted to me that they are starting to be able to wrap their brains around someone being gay. They don’t “get it” totally, but they understand it a little more. And then they will say, “But I just can’t get behind the whole transgender thing.” 9 times out of 10 when I ask them what it means to be transgender they either don’t know, or they have it completely wrong. How can you be so against something that you know nothing about? And these are the types of things I see in the arguments on FB. Again, it’s all about being right…not about understanding.
So, I guess the bottom line is this…
Let’s have some compassion for one another. Let’s listen to one another. Let’s realize that people are feeling a little raw right now. They may need space, they may need some understanding, they may need to be heard, and maybe they just need someone to hold onto them until the picture of their life is clearer. Let’s be gentle, let’s offer support, let’s not back away from things that make us uncomfortable (and are sometimes frustrating).
We used to put so much time and effort into getting clear pictures on our television screens. Shouldn’t we at least give that same time and effort into seeing and understanding our fellow-man?
I never said love was easy. But it matters…now more than ever.
…And here’s hoping I don’t wake up to any more random weird images (smile).