After my last blog post on allyship, an old schoolmate and friend privately messaged me to share with me that my posts make her sad. In effect, she was questioning my Christian faith and that I was not being a “true” ally because I share articles (usually without any personal commentary) which I can only assume she sees as the opposite of her political views and her take on what she deems as “fake news.” I expressed my appreciation for her courage in coming forward to express her heart. In my response to her I told her that I would consider her words and examine myself in prayer. I also asked her to provide me specific examples of why she is questioning my motives as I can only assume from reading her timeline posts. It was not that she declined to offer any specific examples, she simply declined to enter a discussion with me at that moment. We have yet to speak about the matter.
Her message was a dagger to my heart.
In her initial message, she told me I could “un-friend” her if I felt I needed to and that she would understand if I did. I told her I loved her as a friend, and I would not think of un-friending her even though we may have opposing views. But I would be lying to you if her message did not bring a storm of tears, and as I promised, I did step back to examine my heart.
Two days later, I posted this on The Blogging Owl Facebook page:
For those who may question my Christian faith and my role as an ally, listen up.
Elitism is an attitude of superiority that lifts some people up while demeaning others. It is a mindset that uses illegitimate criteria by which to judge people based on false conclusions and ungodly perspectives, making some superior, while treating others inferior. It makes illegitimate distinctions among people based on race, class, or culture.
To rid elitism from our existence, we must love others, no matter their race, culture, or class, and we must consider their needs as more important than our own.
Unity establishes oneness that will not negate individuality.
There is strength in unity.
There is power in unity.
So how can unity and uniqueness coexist?
How can I model God’s example of unity?
Unity is not sameness.
Unity is not uniform.
Unity is a shared vision or direction.
Some do not share that vision or direction of oneness as I do because we are not of that “sameness” of criteria.
You may doubt my Christian faith, but God knows my heart.
You may doubt my devotion to building a bridge to unite, but God knows my heart. No one could have had a more sensitive love in human relationships than Christ. I will work with others across racial, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries to spread the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
How can unity and uniqueness coexist?
On focused outcomes for unity, peace, and love. God knows my heart.
We are all guilty
Stubbornness is an unintelligent barrier that refuses to be enlightened and blocks the flow of any light. We are all guilty in our “sameness” of bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing and hatred. We are all the same in our stubbornness whether we are outwardly vocal in our contempt or hold on to it in our silence because God does know our hearts whether you are a believer or not.
I am grateful for my friend’s message.
She helped me to confirm where my heart is rooted and that we all share the ‘sameness in stubbornness’ if not ‘sameness in criteria’ in our views for the outcomes of unity, peace, and love. I only hope that when people reach out to others in courageous softness that they also whisper that same message to their hearts as well.
And for those who are truly and totally blocked of light? Well, we can only message them in love through our prayers. This is what it means to pray for our enemies who are stubborn in their separation and elitism because only God can blow apart those barriers.
Let me be clear. My friend who messaged me is not my enemy. She remains my friend and I hope we will have a thoughtful discussion in the future based on our shared values.
In closing, I offer the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me a channel of your PEACE,
That where there is hatred, I may bring LOVE,
That where there is wrong, I may bring the Spirit of FORGIVENESS,
That where there is discord, I may bring HARMONY,
That where there is error, I may bring TRUTH,
That where there is doubt, I may bring FAITH,
That where there is despair, I may bring HOPE,
That where there are shadows, I may bring LIGHT,
That where there is sadness, I may bring JOY,
Lord, grant that I may seek rather than to comfort,
That to be comforted; to UNDERSTAND,
Than to be understood; to LOVE, rather than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds,
It is by FORGIVING that one is FORGIVEN.
It is by dying that one awakens to ETERNAL LIFE.
God knows my heart. He knows yours too.
The Blogging Owl
Other places to find me:
“Like” these Facebook pages:
(c) 2017-2020 All Rights Reserved