Some people talk things out. Or think them out. Maybe you see a therapist who helps you untie the knots in your mind and heart. Standing dates with your best friend or soulmate can be regular problem-solving miracles.
Me? I write things. Not that I never talk it out or hold a little debate in my head until it clears up. But I often write until the real issue spills out – and then write a whole lot more in an attempt to find my way through it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But writing is my path to truth, understanding, peace.
The topic is not always voluntary or well-planned. I don’t sit in my studio searching the internet for issues about which I might feel strongly or sad or confused. Sometimes I hear a story in the news that makes me crazy or cringe or cry. Other meanderings arise out of the time I spend with Jesus.
Sometimes I ask Him to bless me with His words. Sometimes He just shows up with something important and unexpected.
I’ve learned to pay attention.
One recent morning, I struggled as I prayerfully wrote:
So maybe the bigger problem is not the current issue or problem. Jesus, maybe what You see is that we’re always trying to solve the “popular” problem. Are we so focused on what we believe the enemy is doing to marriage and small businesses, political parties and court decisions that we don’t see what he’s doing in the middle of all the other pitiful and horrible situations? Really, what are we as a church and Church doing for the desperately poor, abused, and abandoned? It’s not ok.
And in the days that followed.
I’m not entirely sure that You intended for the U.S. to be a Christian country, whatever that means. But I’m positive You didn’t design the world so I could live in comfort when not 5 miles from me are good, honest people who fear deportation or spend sleepless nights anxious for the safety and lives of their children. Those who are hungry, abused, and forgotten.
So that’s what I’m here writing about … hoping His voice and my rambling words will lead me as I search for what is right and true.
I already know that Jesus put this on my heart: The plight of those less than — the oppressed, the mistreated, the different-from-me — is more important than wedding cakes. My right to freely carry a Bible for all to see is not as urgent or critical as the right of everyone to eat and be healthy and live where it is safe.
Good golly, Miss Molly… I’m scaring myself a little bit. And, keep in mind that, until I click Publish, these spicy ideas are for me to deal with in peace and private.
So, if you’re reading these words, you and I will both know that I stepped out of the boat. I decided that having you or them or the others disagree with me is not as important as my meager efforts to lighten the load in the lives, hearts, and souls of the oppressed…what I do and say to help them live more peacefully is top priority. The arguments and criticism that may follow are not bigger or stronger than what Jesus leads me to do and say.
Again, I’m not at all sure what this means, what it will look like, or what it will cost. And I know that jumping in head first to something new doesn’t always turn out the way I picture it.
But I’m confident of this: if I don’t follow my heart and listen to the voice of Jesus, my life will be much harder than whatever I could be getting myself into by opening it up to His plan.