In a day and age of stinging rhetoric, commercialized fear, and alternative facts, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the counter conversation that is taking place.
The main point of the conversation? Jesus loves people. All people. We are to love people. All people. Even if it’s risky.
People are speaking up for the voiceless and speaking out against the political infrastructure that has usurped our ability to develop our own opinions and exercise our own values. For all the hurtful rhetoric and demonstration that has been snaking in, out, and around President Trump’s political debut (which is not exclusive of any positive policies he has initiated), at least good is starting to emerge in response. It doesn’t undo the damage done, but it seems to be rewriting the conversation that is taking place among the people.
Christian organizations and pastors that are known to be faithful to the heart of Jesus have started separating themselves from President Trump’s brand of Christianity. Individual Christians who have long-since devoted their lives to serving refugees and immigrants now have a platform by which to bring light to the plight of real people and the biblical outlook that opened their eyes to these people’s stories. Even non-Christian media outlets are craving to be a part of clarifying the truth because the love of Jesus is compelling.
I’m grateful for those who are gathering up courage to speak in this counter conversation and are showing us an example of how to love people with and without politics as a vehicle. We need to see both.
And though there is seldom a clear-cut answer to anything these days, erring on the side of compassion (especially in the name of Jesus) seems to be the answer that people are looking for, fighting for, and risking for. A man who jumped in front of a bullet for men who were being ethnically targeted, or a subway full of strangers who worked together to remove anti-Semitic graffiti are some examples of how people are refusing to stay silent when they see other people being targeted, marginalized, or attacked.
In Mark 12:31, Jesus says to love our neighbor as ourselves. He says that doing so is equally as important as loving God with everything we’ve got. It seems we are finally starting to see that our neighbor is the stranger next to us.