I can't decide how to get started on what I want to say. Between the dresses and the holes and the time being up, there are just a LOT of words flying around about really big things and I just can't seem to keep up with what my heart really thinks about it all. I think I'm still processing about the dresses and the time being up because, well, #metoo, but I think I may have to save that for another day.
This week we celebrate the birth of a man who knew how you to use his words courageously. A man who used his words as weapons against the heart condition that has convinced people that there are somehow humans that are less than. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King is this one:
Here's the deal: It does not matter you live, what color your skin is, how much money is in your bank account, who your parents are, your marital status or what “hole” you came from, the truth about you is declared by the One who made you.
I have been justified (Romans 5:1).
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15).
I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20).
I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27).
I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) .
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8)
I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9)
I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21)
I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).
I am accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6)
I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)
I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1)
I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13).
I am overcoming (I John 4:4).
I am persevering (Philippians 3:14).
I am protected (John 10:28).
I am born again (I Peter 1:23).
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am delivered (Colossians 1:13).
I am redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13)
I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)
(Bless you, Christine Caine for the above compilation).
God's Word is the only standard that exists that does not shift based on circumstance, another person's opinion of you, or even how you feel about you. Dr. King knew that Truth deep within his soul. He knew that his Maker's Truth about him, about all of creation, was the Truth that mattered most of all. I believe its the Truth he spoke from when he dreamed big dreams about the future and talked about love and hate and light and dark. However, we have to be willing to take this a step further. These promises from God's Word, and even these words from Dr. King, are not only true about you, they are true about every other person on this planet.
Here's what I have been wrestling with in light of that: No matter how much another person, in your past or in your present, has hurt you, how do we live with them in light of the pain that has been sewed into our hearts? I honestly don't know how to reconcile all those scriptures with my pain. It is a struggle to believe that God says those things about me, but the man who robbed me of my innocence? The woman who sewed a lie in my heart that still wrecks me? The people of influence who use their words to belittle and sew discourse into the hearts of anyone who would listen? No, no, no, Lord that cannot be true about them. If You're good, God, surely You are only that good to me?
Ugh. That was gross to say out loud.
But you get me, right? Are you with me in that wrestling? Day after day, tweet after tweet, we are surrounded by voices that add to our bitterness and anger at one another. I wonder if Dr. King didn't wrestle with these things as well. Surely in his humanity he had to. And like, Dr. King, we have to do something with this narrative. I know that's hard to reconcile because we live in a time where our culture is saturated with finger pointing and yelling about who is wrong and who is right even in the Church. There is no filter from anyone in power about what they think about another human being. There is no limit on what we say about others if it gets our point across. But as Dr. King shared "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
At least for me, on this tiny little scale of influence in which I dwell, I am coming to realize that the longer I participate in the fueling the fire of my pain and their (whoever “they” are, at the moment) wrong doing, the longer I miss out on what the Lord can do with my healing and transformative vision for how He sees His creation.
I'm wondering, maybe in order for the words that can bring about healing to make their way out, we have to start with what we dwell on. Maybe the next right step has to do with processing what Paul shared in his letter to the Philippians:
I pray that all of us can soak in these words about who we are. I pray that we can choose to live in light of them and not just survive the roar of voices coming from all around us. I also pray that we can pursue God's vision for how He sees every other person around us, no matter who they are, or what they've done. Maybe, just maybe, this will lead us to a whole new way of engaging each other. There will ALWAYS be someone who wants to restore the dark, until the Lord comes to make all things right (Isaiah 61, Revelation 21). but maybe our words can keep the light on, engaging another light, and another, until He Comes.