If I really think about it, I may be the person holding up the sign on the corner of the street that reads, “Peace be with you.” Isn’t that what God wants from us as disciples? I have spent time contemplating if I should actively join peaceful demonstrations. The thing is just the very act of choosing a side or a stance can be seen as a threat. Yet, is it? Is there such a thing anymore as a peaceful sign?
I have disagreements with people but I find that it is best to hear their side of the story or I do my best to just avoid the topic altogether. Often times it is no longer peaceful when we are unable to hear or understand the others’ point of view. Often times a person’s life experiences that lead to a particular stance may not be the just way. How will their side eventually play out? I have not always been peaceful but usually that is my plan and intention. My temperament and self control does apparently have a limit, as yours I am sure of does too.
Sometimes, wrongs seem so wrong that you have to fight. That is how I see world war. It is a necessary evil in this world. I very much enjoy the abundance of safety that our military provides. I very much am in awe of their courage to sacrifice but I wish it was not a necessity. I do not have any say at the United Nations. I have absolutely no negotiating power of my own. Nor do I really like getting into political debates. I just do not have enough time, knowledge, and desire to be well informed. I might as well just start out by trying to get along with the people in my life, which let’s be honest can be hard enough. Come Holy Spirit.
As many disagreements go, I think a person is trying their best. Often times that is what an argument is about. They are trying their best but by some standards best is not good enough. Don’t cry me a river about not being good enough. We are all not good enough in some area. We are not saints, yet. Do I really need to point that out to you?
What is best for one person may not be best for another person. Fact. Right? Or is there one Holy and apostolic truth? What works for a whole group of people may not be the solution for another group of people. We are all on a journey and none of us are at the same place on that journey. We are all different. So we negotiate as peaceful as we can. You pray with God. You gain strength for God’s word, and in God’s word. You learn traditions and you well, maybe apply them. You do what is asked of you in the Lord’s name. You resolve to believe that peace starts with you. At least peaceful behavior can start with our own behavior. Peace actually comes from God. All good things come from God.
So a hot topic today can be transgender. I know. I know. Be quiet. I once again have been arguing with God. I perceive that he wants me to bring this up but I want to be silent and make a colorful, cheery Hippy peace sign. Yet, no matter how much I run from this God is nagging me to bring it up. He seems relentless like that. To the point of setting my heart on fire after clicking, save draft. I have to comply on what I perceive he asks of me. Even if I do not see how it will work out. Now I know I am not an expert but I do have some thoughts on the subject best kicked off with Penny.
This one time in the middle of the night Penny was sneaked off into the night to go on a shopping adventure. The adult with her took her to a department store that she knew well. She shopped there many times in the daylight. Picking out a coin purse, hair ribbons, and fancy shoes that hurt her feet. An adult she knew worked there at night stalking the shelves, he invited a bunch of people to the store. Imagine the excitement of being able to run around the store with a cape trailing behind you and no sales clerk to stop you! I guess that wasn’t the vision the adults had.
Penny brought along with her, her toy bag. She was brought into a dressing room and was told to stay there. She was informed to lock the door once it was closed. She was a bit disappointed. She wanted to play hide-and-go-seek in the clothes circles. It was her only opportunity to do so. She wasn’t going to “disrupt the customers” when there were no customers in the store. Anyhow, she pouted and obeyed.
Eventually Penny pulled out of her toy bag a tea set. She had no water for the little white glasses with blue flowers motif on them. Penny in all her charisma thought about leaving her tiny room to get drinking water but was afraid of getting yelled at. So she stayed sitting on the floor using the bench in front of her as the table. In attendance to her very special, private tea party was Ralph. He was a her favorite tattered brown teddy bear. He went everywhere with her. She also brought along Barbie. Possibly exercise Barbie with the aqua jumpsuit and striped leggings. Of course Mr. Snuffleupagus was also in attendance. Do not ask Penny for an explanation as to how the furry Elephant on Sesame Street knew where the party was at…She likely would have a magical explanation.
Anyhow, at one point there was a huge crash of a sound. Concerned for the safety of what may have happened to a person, Penny wanted to know if everything was alright. So she unlocked the door and poked her head out. There stood a man she knew dressed in women’s clothing. Others ran away getting to play hide-and-go seek in the clothes circles. The man’s eyes met Penny’s and quickly seeing the fear, confusion, intrigue, and disgust run across her face he reassured her. He would not hurt her. Out of all the things he could have said, his most prominent idea was to think of how she may believe he was into hurting children sexually. She nodded yes knowing that he never inappropriately touched her nor believed that he would. She listened to the direction to close the door and lock it. She didn’t want to see that anyhow. She didn’t want the store camera to catch her disobeying an adult. What would God think of her for not obeying about keeping that particular door shut. That wasn’t even something she wanted to voice in confession. It may break God’s heart or rather her own for knowing the truth.
Now I know it is only a story but imagine if it did happen. I just watched a news video awhile ago about an adult dancing (laying on the floor, spreading legs) in drag at a school talent show. I guess it was just misjudgment which maybe we can all fall into depending on our beliefs but still a huge mistake. At what age would it be ok to have an adult sexually expose themself to a child? It wouldn’t be. Sure, I guess if it was just about playing dress up like children do on Halloween but it was not Halloween. It seems to have had a motive that was some sort of disordered affection for worldly things such as garments, worldly feeling/ pleasure, or liking humans more than God’s given DNA assignment. What is ok and what is not? I guess we have to decide that as a society thinking of God first. Which means we have to agree on who God is within each dignified person.
It never is purely a strict motive. There is something disordered. Please don’t get me wrong in this. I perceive, God often warms me in prayer to not have disordered affections about other examples in my own life. To put anything above God. It is difficult. Often, I want to put my own feelings above God. Hence, why I didn’t even want to write this in the first place.
Confession as a child, I once thought being a boy was better than being a girl. As a boy you didn’t ever have to wear tights to church. They never had to wear some homemade lace covered dress that was homemade, sewed together with so much love but looked so over the top frilly princess…you know it is best I just don’t say. Boys didn’t have to put up with being yelled at to “hold still” as a caring parent tried to brush out the enormous rats nest they had gotten in their long hair just by playing. Life just seemed easier as a boy for many reasons. So if I would have had liberal, loving, caring, good intending parents that I shared those thoughts with who knows what that would have meant for my identity today.
Anyhow, back to fight or not to fight. Well, I guess if we need to fight with words to restore peace in our land than by all means. Come Holy Spirit. May we recognize the truth in who God has made and not let our own disorder to take precedence over our thoughts and feelings.
In Jesus name, Peace be with you.