a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship.
Each one of us is a masterpiece. A work of art created by the master of peace, himself. Although he could have created us flawless, he chose to create us full of sin AND full of goodness. Our weaknesses are continually uncovered and we are left exposed. I don’t know about you but being naked in front of anybody, (PURE DARKNESS BABY-that’s my kind of naked), is ridiculously uncomfortable, but when our faults or our differences are uncovered that’s how it can feel. On the flipside we have abundant goodness (the kind that makes you proud of humanity) flowing through our veins. It was purposeful that we were all created with both faults and differences, beauty and goodness. Like a fine wine, we are complex and lovely at the same time! Our diversity doesn’t have to divide us, instead it can bind us together.
With current events that continue to unfold in our world my brain is swarming with prayer, fear, confusion, hope, love and faith. My heart can barely handle the pain and hurt that I see from the images on tv and the ones burned in my brain. The trauma and terror in the victim's eyes is palpable, and feels eerily familiar in many ways. All of my personal feelings and violations are swollen up in my throat but my words fail to express my emotions appropriately. There aren’t any. My mind speaks in images, not words, and I feel consumed with the pain these people are feeling, because although every situation is different, the raw emotion is familiar. Each time, especially since February, that there is another tragedy whether it be an act of God or a horrific human act, I’m reminded that so many of us, if not most, are walking around exposed on a daily basis.
For whatever reason (and I’m reasonably sure that people way above my pay grade could explain) we feel this burning desire within us to not only explain the circumstances (we need answers) in which we face or see but to exploit them as well. The later is both destructive and unnecessary.
When Jon got shot in Mexico, upon returning, we heard more than our fair share of times, “Well he shouldn’t have been wearing that watch anyway.” (It may be me but I’m not sure that anything we do or don’t do should justify another human being shooting anyone out of violence.) I still laugh off the sentiments and try to understand the loving place from which they are coming, but….. The truth is that’s crap on a stick (and then some). It may be ‘our reality’ but it’s also UGLY AND WRONG. He SHOULD be able to wear his watch wherever he goes. He SHOULD be able to walk on the street holding his wife’s hand. He SHOULD be able to go on vacation without incident. HE SHOULD. Just like they SHOULD be able to go to a concert and not fear for their lives. They SHOULD be able to dance and have fun, celebrating Veterans. They SHOULD be able to sing out without anxiety. THEY SHOULD. She SHOULD be able to open her front door without fear. She SHOULD be able to be home alone without a thought. Her home SHOULD be able to be a safe place. IT SHOULD.
My entire life I have had a passion for local, national, and world news and issues. (I’m talking I was the nerdy 6th grader that laid on the couch and watched Headline News while the other kids watched MTV. They aren’t wrong when they say I’m no fun.) I had these grand plans that I would make a difference in the world on a large scale. I believed in things and I wanted others to as well, and then something changed. Children.
It doesn’t take long, as a parent, to realize that there is no way you can solve world peace if you can’t create a safe, loving and happy home for your own children to live in. I mean my two year olds didn’t want to share…. I clearly had work to do! Yes, I believe my voice can still be heard but if I’m not teaching the quiet lessons within my OWN walls about love, compassion, giving, selflessness, kindness, sharing, patience and faith then I’M guilty of perpetuating this massive GLOBAL problem that we have. I CANNOT accept that our race, religion, creed and/or socioeconomic status HAS to be an indicator or EXCUSE for our human behavior. (I’m not daft enough, however, to know that these things don’t play a factor.) Who we are, what we do, and how we behave begins at HOME, no matter where that home may be. It extends to those around us, those who take notice of us and who pour into us. If we want to make this world a better place, a safer place, a kinder place we must stop the rhetoric and get back to teaching simple lessons in fundamental human behavior in our own homes.
If my home is not happy, peaceful and functioning at it’s best all of the time, I’m pretty sure I don’t have all of the answers for your home- KNOW WHAT I MEAN VERN?
Over the last few years I’ve felt exposed and unloved. There has been vitriol and hate expressed on all sides of all issues and it has transcended ‘having a voice,’ and become inflammatory hate speech. I have stopped using my own voice because when I see such hate being carelessly scattered about, I don’t want to align myself with ANYONE… except the one that created each of us. (Ultimately I should have been doing that all along.) The thing is that in horrific tragedies like the one that we have just all witnessed we don’t need a platform. We need a heart! It sickens me, recognizing the pain that these people are feeling, to see the careless words being used in the face of this horrific tragedy. We don’t need our agenda pushed through, we need compassion. We don’t deserve exploitation for selfish (even if we don’t see it that way) purposes. We need to lock arms and be one. When we allow division, evil wins. These victims need to know we care, not just today and tomorrow, but for years to come.
These scars will remain.
I believe that God created us so differently because he wanted us to see the beauty in each life. No two masterpieces are the same. This is true in art and life. His skill and workmanship were not an accident. Each flawed person is uniquely different, profoundly beautiful and very much created by HIS hands. In tragedies and trauma we are reminded that although we all walk around exposed and fearful, human goodness, kindness and generosity will shine HIS bright light on the awful darkness. The scars that evil creates are tremendously painful, but the healing power in Christ will eternally prevail, as we are his greatest treasure.