Who, me??

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And I quote…

“But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it.”

“It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer.”

“…stay engaged on every level.”

“We need you.  America needs your energy.”

                  –Hillary Clinton*

That pretty well sums it up, no matter who we did or did not vote for.  So yeah, the truth is that, regardless of the 40+ hour work week or lack thereof, the car in the shop and the dishes in the sink, the kids’ activities, the bills, the aging parents and/or concern about the how to deal with the in-laws…somewhere in there, our country needs our involvement, our voice, our help. 

I love the story of Moses when God first called to him from the burning bush.  The short version goes something like this:

“Who, me!?!”

“Yes, you!!”

About five times, in fact, and answered by some practical strategies that necessitated Moses’ (as Mrs. Clinton puts it) “energy and engagement”.  In other words, it cost him something.

Obviously, there is no disagreement about the American right to disagree, and in that view, the most current presidential election was not unique.  (The Brits have their own version…)

Pugnacious verbal blood-letting is a time honored tradition in all the colors (not merely red and blue) of the political spectrum.   Unfortunately, school children are not the only ones adept at playground bullying; they learn it well from us adults.  What seems to be passion for “our” cause can easily go beyond true activism into irreparable damage.  Advocacy becomes practical, however, when I choose to step in and confront the day-to-day “adult-bullying” which takes many creative forms, some of which can be couched in seeming sophistication, much of it in my own backyard.

There are also other ways to stay engaged, regardless of whether or not your candidate of choice won the election.  Here are a few practical suggestions, and I hope you may add more in the comment section:

  • Maybe your thing is political advocacy. Here’s good comment from the interaction with my oldest daughter:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             “A way to be involved is to not only confront any hateful actions or remarks you personally come across, but also to hold your representatives accountable. Be in contact with your state and federal lawmakers. When I was a lobbyist (for lack of a better term), constituent concerns were the most important thing, hands down. As few as 20 phones calls from constituents could sometimes sway a lawmaker’s vote. If you disagree with them, tell them.”

Here’s the place to start:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

  • To find a good match for your skills and time availability, take a look at these sites for help.

http://www.volunteermatch.org/

http://www.createthegood.org/

  • For someone who’s passion is housing, try Habitat for Humanity. It’s kind of hard to stay mad at someone when you’re focusing on hanging sheetrock for a good cause…together.

http://www.habitat.org/

  • Now for a challenging word for us bloggers, tweeters, instagrammers, snapchatters, and otherwise connoisseurs of fine social media. Try reading some writings by those from the opposing side of the argument. True debaters are taught to contend on each side; it causes them to learn the age-old skill of walking a mile in the other guy’s shoes. Another wise quote from my progeny:

“If you want to see a perspective firmly lodged in the liberal camp, look at Shaun King’s Facebook page. I’m not saying I agree with him, but it might be a place to see another side of things, or at least to see why people are worried. My newsfeed has a decidedly liberal slant, so I intentionally continue to follow more conservative folks so I’m not unaware.”

I love her word “intentional”.   I’ve followed Pied Type since I started this blogging thing.  We are obviously divergent in our worldviews, which is good for me.  It’s a beautiful site, so check it out!

And while we’re at it, how many of us are guilty of initiating and/or forwarding unseemly and unsubstantiated emails or posts about “the other side”, hmmmm???

Moses became instrumental in delivering God’s people from tyrannical rule.  Now, you can apply that allegorically however you wish, but the point remains—you are needed, not merely to advance the policies dear to your heart, but also and at the same time (please hear this), to help maintain the “indivisible” part of the pledge most of us grew up with. It is, in fact, the American way.

Here are a few other quotes from another famous American who had his share of personal and political vilification, and eventual made the ultimate sacrifice.

While we must, by all available means, prevent the overthrow of the government, we should avoid planting and cultivating too many thorns in the bosom of society.
–March 18, 1864 Letter to Edwin M. Stanton

I have desired as sincerely as any man — I sometimes think more than any other man — that our present difficulties might be settled without the shedding of blood.
–April 26, 1861 Address to the Frontier Guard

I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers, but with you, is the question, “Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?” 
–February 11, 1861 Speech to Gov. Morton in Indianapolis

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…”
–March 4, 1865 Inaugural Address

Thank you, Mr. Lincoln.

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/quotes.htm

*Quoted from FoxNews online

Chasms are optional; instructions are not

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I have to admit, I’m a real Chronicles of Narnia fan.  I never read them until doing so with my children.  The movies don’t do justice to the books, with the possible exception of the first one.  The special effects are, well,… effective, to say the least, but something is lost on the silver screen as the series progresses.  But then, I’m not an industry professional so who cares?

There is one scene, however, in Movie #2 or #3 that comes to mind; it’s the one where the kids are futilely wandering lost through a forested area when Lucy sees King Aslan across a chasm and bids her to follow.  Naturally, no one else sees him and neither do they believe Lucy’s “vision”.  To make matters more definite, there is no discernible way to get across the chasm, even if Aslan were there.

Lucy gives in the others’ opinions of the situation, which causes problems and a later (gentle but definite) rebuke from the lion, i.e., if he bids her come, she is to come regardless of what the others may think, and regardless of there not being an immediate and obvious path.  Lessons, lessons…

Close that book and open another:

Israel’s rebellious king has recently set up new gods with all the trappings.  In keeping with historic trend, the Lord Yahweh sends His notice of displeasure through a “man of God” who arrives on the scene with some pretty miraculous confirmation.  The king, a bit shaken, asks the man to come dine with him; however, the invitation is thus declined:

“For the LORD gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’”

Pretty clear instructions, and so far everything God told this man has panned out. No need to doubt the message’s veracity on this point either.

Until another so-called prophet lies to him, saying “an angel” appeared instructing the man of God was to return with him and eat at his house.

Why did this convince the man of God??  I’m sure he was probably temptingly hungry, and that didn’t help, but does God change His mind?  What evidence did this liar have for Plan B?  Spoiler alert—it didn’t end well for the man of God.

Not that I would have done any better, left to my own accord.  And certainly the Lord also says there is wisdom “in a multitude of counselors.”  I readily admit I need the help of others to sometimes discern God’s will in a situation (it’s part of that koinonia thing).  But on the other hand, there are some commands that God gets through pretty clearly even to me; nevertheless, Satan will try to bring his own pack of lies into the muddle, sometimes through those whom we love and trust.

Like Lucy’s family, for example.  “Did you REALLY see him?”

Sounds suspiciously like an old serpent in a Garden long ago, “Hath God REALLY said…?”

1 Kings 13:9  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.