“I can’t stand this indecision, Married with a lack of vision.” — Roland Orzabal
I used to write these every day. Schedules change and with those changes in schedule routines also change. Yet, more than different schedules comes the changes of priorities and life circumstances. Simply put, these topics are a little heavier and with increased heft comes the need for more down time so these thoughts can hit with the right gravitas.
The conversion thoughts hit a number of people in different ways. That’s always the hope as people are in a different head spaces at different times of their lives. For most, the question came down to what to do when a friend or family member gets stuck in a silo of hate and self-centeredness. As Mick Jagger said, “I spent our first trip I tries so hard to rearrange your mind, but after awhile I realized you were disarranging mine.” There has to be a line somewhere we draw in the sand where our efforts have to stop.
All the while we can never truly give up. It’s like a beloved family pet that has gotten away. There will come a time when the posters around the neighborhood come down and you stop circling the block looking for them. You stop calling the vet to see if anyone had turned them in. Yet, there is that lasting hope that one day they will come back. Occasionally they do. When they do we rejoice just like the shepherd with the lost sheep. If they don’t we try to remember the good times and remember them in the best light possible.
I sat there at my last council meeting (pastoral council) and listened as one of the members prayed for an “end to critical race theory, gender affirmation, and all that jazz” in our public schools. At first, I was gobsmacked that someone would pray for an abandonment of tolerance and understanding. How does one reconcile what seems to be a good and decent person with sentiments that seem so indecent? This is when we have to remember that the forces of darkness have somehow taken something that was already there (anger, fear, insecurity) and planted seeds that have taken root.
We make our mistake when we attack the plants that have grown from those seeds and not the source. The anger, fear, and insecurity is real. It’s there for a reason. It is legitimate. We just find that others are using those things for their own ends. So, when we attack those ideas and call them out as intolerant then we are in effect “cancelling” them because we are discounting that anger, fear, and insecurity. We are discounting them.
We cannot let the wayward members of the flock escape into the wilderness of despair and hatred. We must continue to reach out. We must show that there is a better way. It will be rough and there will be times where we will need to temporarily retreat for our own sanity. Yet, we can never completely write them off. One day they may return to our door and we can rejoice how he or she that was once lost has been found.