I'm almost scared to check my news feed these days - what new soul-clenching, stomach churning madness has occurred while I was sleeping?
You probably know the feeling.
I have this urge to write, to vent, and get all the *grrrrr* off my chest, but do we really need another post like that cluttering up the interwebs? Another "this world is going to hell in a handbasket" opinion piece? I doubt it.
Chin up, I tell myself. This too shall pass.
I've been sitting here at the bottom of the world watching the madness unfold, feeling shocked and sickened as the fundamentalist American Church aligns itself with the most reprehensible human being we've had on the world stage in a long time. Their endorsement of him is doing irreparable harm to the name of Christ (who I love and try to follow). Making excuses for his inexcusable behaviour is painting the rest of the followers of Jesus with an awful tarnished brush. What they call Christianity, and Christian values has nothing to do with Jesus.
The Jesus of the Bible was not political - he refused to take up human power the way some of his followers wanted him to; he hung out with the outcasts and "sinners"; he told parables that exposed the hypocrisy of religious people who had no concern for the poor and needy, and he himself laid aside all wealth and power to come as a servant. He said, "In as much as you have done [good] to the the least of these, you have done it to me; in as much as you have not done [good] to the least of these you have not done it to me."
(That "good" includes welcoming strangers. Just saying)
We as Jesus' followers are meant to be following his example - that's what it means to be "christian" = being like Christ.
Donald Trump is not a Christian (no matter what Dr James Dobson says) and it pains my heart that Christ's good name is being muddied by association. Just stop it already! It's sooooo embarrassing - I hope you know I'm not *that kind* of Christian??
I've been following John Pavlovitz and Ann Voscamp - two authentic American Christian voices who write with honesty, compassion and wisdom. I wish that the world got to hear more from people like them as representing Christ, instead of the angry, fear mongering, hate-filled voices that are so loud in support of that narcissistic orange guy that is now in charge of the nuke codes.
Oops. Sorry I wasn't going to go there was I?
OK, I'm back. Treading water and looking for the good. I really need to focus on the good, because as much as the outside world is a giant ugly mess, my private world is not much prettier, which really doesn't help.
BUT IN SPITE OF THE MESS, I'M THANKFUL THAT...
.... even though Clyde, our beloved puppy, got hit by a car this week (!) he got up and walked away with just bruising (and a $200 vet bill, but let's not go there). Never mind that the car didn't stop, even though they hit him so hard their bumper came off. Never mind that naughty Clyde had slipped his head out of his too-loose collar and led us a merry chase onto the main road and dashed into live traffic.... (my heart nearly stopped as his life flashed before my eyes - we can't lose CLYDE?!?!)
Well, his angels were working overtime, cos he's FINE now.
That's something good right there, no?
I'm thankful that I sorted out and prettified my pantry yesterday, hand-stamping labels for the jars and canisters and making it all look so Pinteresty. I haven't had the energy to get creative in a while, so it was a good and satisfying feeling.
I'm thankful the the eldest two are back into the school routine with no drama, and the eldest (in Year 10 at High School) actually said, "I think I'm going to enjoy school this year, mum."
I'm thankful that Scrag has been given a scholarship to a new school for dyslexic children. He starts next week. SO THANKFUL!
Thankful that me and Scrag can enjoy making whirlpools in our backyard pool (the leaves all swirl into the centre and we can easily scoop them up!); thankful we are keeping the green at bay (Scrag is my pool buddy).
I'm thankful that somehow I manage to keep going, even though at times I feel overwhelmed and alone; each day is a new fresh day and God gives me the strength I need to get through it.
Thankful that God gives me strength to not crumple under the weight of other people's judgments as they stand at a distance and question my decisions (without ever having walked a mile in my shoes). When harsh words come against me He comforts my heart, reminding me that He is my Defender, my advocate, my righteousness, my strength. He carries me and covers me; words of accusation and judgement don't have to sting - He is my Shield.
I'm thankful that sometimes my kids are just amazing. Like yesterday as I sat on the phone to WINZ organising an emergency food grant (that vet bill really hurt!) my Scrag brought me a cup of coffee in the "World's Best Mum" cup and insisted I read it out loud. Then Fab went out and picked me flowers which she put in jars around the house, including one on my bedside table. Bless them; they are wonderful.
See, so somehow even though it might feel like the world is a big falling-apart mess, with too much judgement and not enough kindness, there is much to still be thankful for.
Yesterday I came across the loveliest thing - a video from Denmark which warmed my heart and reminded me that humans can be wonderful.
This is what the world needs more of - a reminder that though on the surface of things, we may be different, there is so much more that we share in common.
Haven't seen it yet? Take three minutes to watch...
There, wasn't that goosebumpy?
I needed that.
We're in this together, people. Lets be kind whenever we can, remembering that:
Yep, this was a bit of a mish-mash post; sorry about that. But aint that life?!