Yes, And

I love Jesus. I love the United States. I love yoga and theatre. And Singing. I love to sing loudly. I believe in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe in One Nation under God. I am a capitalist and a spiritualist. I am an independent thinker, and I belong to a church. I am a sinner and a saint. I practice gratitude and humility, and sometimes I practice braggadocio and being a moody b***h.  

I’m all of these things and more. Like my friend Shrek says, “Ogres are like onions. We have layers.”  

Our country, our world, has been completely torn asunder by fear. Fear of COVID, and here in the US fear of who’s in the White House or sitting on the Supreme Court’s bench. The media, the politicians, and even some religious leaders have been dutifully feeding the fear like a raging bonfire. As soon as flames start settling into smoldering cinders, someone throws on another log, and we’re off and running again. Humans love to fear; it makes them feel all kinds of things, anger, self-righteous indignation, “Just wear your f****ing mask!” 

We’ve lost our sensitivity. Walled up behind denial, childhood wounds, regret, shame, our hearts no longer feel intrinsic joy. Firewalls have bogged down our operating system so much that we don’t even know what Someone designed us for in the first place. 

Friends, if we want to unite our society again, all of us- and I do mean ALL- must do two things:

  1. Realize that the people whose actions go against your values aren’t one dimensional. They aren’t “them” in an “us against them” scenario. They are people like you and me. There is so much more to an individual than how they vote or who they worship.  
  2. Tear down the walls of selfishness and insensitivity around your heart. Yes, it’s safer behind the walls; you don’t get hurt, but you can’t feel Joy. True joy. The kind of joy that stays regardless of the circumstances. 

Practice curiosity, and tolerance. Open your heart. And not just like a romantic love song way, but in a real way.  

Just for today

When I feel like everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot, I’ll remember that people are a lot more than the one glimpse I’m seeing. Instead of judging them, I’ll shift my focus to my own heart. What is it in them that’s eliciting such a response from me? Is it fear? What am I afraid of? Can I let that fear go? 

Prayer

God, help us to see each other as you see us, dearly loved and exquisitely complex. Fill our hearts to overflow with joy. Flood over our self-constructed walls, like a flash flood, wash away everything that stands in the way of being open to your love. Allow our hearts to be an open conduit for you.  

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