Today our neighbors – the ones who graciously and lovingly took in our daughter multiple times when we made trips to the ER when I was so sick – are fearful. They are Muslim.
Today my long-time friend said his adopted immigrant daughter was terrified –even at her young age, even safe in her daddy's arms – because of what kids at school told her could happen.
Today my college roommate, with a heart for justice that is bigger than the sun – the one who was so proud of me when I achieved my goal of reading the entire Bible that she ran through the corridor telling everyone – responded to my message of solidarity with love and grace. She is gay.
Today my comrades and clients who serve in the inner city – who deliberately relocated their families to live alongside people of different races and economic backgrounds and who fight for equality for their neighbors – are stunned silent.
Today, like the two before it, my city is blanketed in smoke from more than 30 wildfires that are burning in this region – fires brought about by severe drought and record high temperatures. The earth is crying out with flames, and it’s choking us.
Today my friends who don't know Jesus are repelled by the votes of those who do, and I fear that my love and service toward them has been irrevocably unraveled.
Today my contemplation of a quote ("America hates women, which is bad enough, and pretends it doesn’t, which is worse” –Kate Harding) is prompting me to question the viability of my woman-owned small business – named Girl on the Roof in honor of my desire to give a voice to those who do not have one. But today the girl on the roof lost.
I was born in the midwest to white American citizens. I lived in suburbia and attended the best public schools and a highly reputable state university, emerging with no debt because my parents had the resources to save. I am privileged not because of my own merit; I am privileged because I was given opportunities that others were not. I have not simply earned; I have been given. Consequently, I have sought to give to others... of my time, my talent, my treasure... and my opportunity. This is my response to the teachings of Christ.
Jesus was a dark-skinned Palestinian Jew born in poverty to an unwed mother. He did not stone the adulterous women. He did not condemn the woman at the well. He did not reprimand the woman who touched his cloak to be healed. He did not objectify the prostitute or shame the woman who poured perfume on his feet. He spoke gently to all of them, and he defended them.
Over the course of history, the greatest danger for the cause of Christ has been people who claim to be acting in His name. Please be mindful of how your words fall on the ears of others today and in the days to come.
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon” (Isaiah 58:10). “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Please, America, shine, love one another, and “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it” (Hillary Rodham Clinton).