Today is the second birthday of my little boy. Trains, play dough and winter gear were found intermingled with the recently torn wrapping paper. It wasn't long before my kitchen table became an imagination baking station. With siblings joining in on this tasty cooking adventure, play dough apple pies, donuts and other creations were offered along with my morning coffee.
As I watched the play dough being torn, twisted and smashed to be shaped into the next delectable dessert, I was reminded that although it remained unseen, my children's hearts were being just as shaped and molded, even on this mundane Monday morning.
A few months back, the day came for our country to come together in one voting box to declare who our next president will be. We came with differing beliefs, battle scars from the debate and the underlying wounding which commands our heart to beat. And yet, we came...demanding that our voice be heard.
I've voted many times over my lifetime but this year was different. It was different because I could visually see the extension of me as three of my adult children voiced their opinion in the voting box. Oh, believe me. I know that these children are much more than an extension of me. They have their own thoughts, their own lives and ideas on what change needs to take place to create a better tomorrow. And yet, one could not deny my influence on the voter in the voting box that day...for the better or the worse.
You see, I may not have raised the President of America but I did raise a responsible voter.
With the inauguration of our 45th President this past weekend and the resulting riots, peaceful protests and marches, the effects of the underlying earthquake rippled across America, from sea to sea. Oh, you may not see this quake which threatens the very fabric of our society but the results are flashed across America on every screen in our land. Images of fires and damaged storefronts, hateful posters and thousands gathered together as one voice. And the precious faces of the America people. Some angry. Some sad. Some scared and some relieved. Yet all unified in their desire to be heard. To be respected. For someone to care about the wounding that solidifies their position...the part of them that knows to their bones that they hold the truth. Because they've experienced such Hurt. Racism. Division. Disrespect.
The quake remains unseen yet the faces tell a different story, an America completely torn apart.
The truth is...although our experiences which drive us are unique, our desires are not so much. In unity, we all want to be heard. We all want to be respected and validated, that the pain we experienced did make a difference. That is wasn't for not. That it's NOT okay to be victimized and abused.
Marching together in one accord for the America that our heart desires. The America our heart NEEDS!
All of us did not take to the streets this past weekend in a stand for our cause. But we all have a cause for which we stand. The reasons behind our stance differ but the strength with which we stand does not. For it stems from our pain and our care for the pain of others. Our fight for a better tomorrow demands that the division and hurting become a memory from days long past.
And yet, this is a fight that will never end, a war that goes on and on. You see, we all have differing beliefs and convictions because of the unique wounding that altered the lens with which we view life. You once were the little child, just like yours and mine...a heart that was molded and shaped by the circumstances of this world just like the play dough with which our children play.
We will never be unified in our fight because our wounding is not and we all KNOW to the depths of our core that we are right because we wear the scars that prove it.
And yet, what if we are wrong? What if the screams of another can't be heard over the loudness of our own scream. What if the label that was placed on us doesn't define us. Doesn't need to stick for a lifetime. What if there was one, just ONE that heard our every cry, saw our every tear and cares about our every hurt. What if HIS love breaks through the dividers and unites us in one truth, not based on our wounding or feelings but based on HIS perfect balance of Truth and Grace.
Who's right? Who's wrong? What about the rights of a woman? What about the rights of her unborn child? Only God has the ability to unite us all as we live by His truth found in the Bible. Only then, can we find unity.
What if this perfect balance of truth and grace changes everything? What if the person who told you that you were worthless was wrong and instead you were created with great worth? What if that changes not only the moments when I march united for my rights but the quiet moments when I'm alone, warring with the battle within my own heart. My own Home. What if the change that can transform America doesn't start on the streets in Washington but rather within the core of my own life. The core of my home. The core of my community.
What if the change that is needed in RESTORING THE CORE of AMERICA begins with me?
For most of us, taking one day to set aside for a march or rally for our cause isn't that hard. How long will our voice resound in the streets? How long will our cries be heard?
How much more effective would it be to 'restore the core' of America from the kitchen table of my own home? In the mundane of the everyday, I am molding, shaping and influencing the next generation of America. How much time will I devote to this cause in the privacy of my own home where the crowds are faded and the work in the trenches lay?
What would happen to America if I shaped and molded the next generation in my own home to forgive. To remove the labels that life tries to stick. To care about ALL others more than themselves. To be honest in their business. To know how to lose well and be a gracious winner. To care about the hurting of others and be willing to talk to those less fortunate. What then?
You see, I have discovered that after all of these years of parenting, no, I didn't raise the President of America but I did raise a responsible voter.
They have learned by the example laid out in our home to be honest and fair. To help the elderly and respect authority. To share their concerns with their voice instead of damaging products. To believe in a better tomorrow and let that begin in their own home. Their own heart.
Sometimes, the march from my bed to the kitchen table to make breakfast for this brood is more daunting than sitting on social media and sharing my views. But, although much harder, I believe it is so much more effective! This is the most worthy cause that I know.
Let the 'Restoration of America' begin!