This is an intensely personal playlist for me. I don’t always look for themes as I’m developing the TS10 each week, but this time around, I did. This playlist paints a picture for the listener. It is a testimony of sorts, capturing a progression of thought and emotion I’ve experienced numerous times, including just recently (read here: “currently”), and this episode is running pretty deep.
Like many of us, I have felt unsettled at best and totally undone at worst in recent weeks (and months, really). I’ve shared here about how my heart has been broken over the needless killing of black men by police officers. And, I haven’t been shy about my abhorrence at the idea of Donald Trump becoming President. After he won the election, I’ve become even more dismayed by the hateful things being said and done in his name. These various stimuli have led me to “rage against the machine” quite a bit.
This makes sense, because I see justice as an integral part of the kingdom of God. As a follower of Jesus, I want to walk in his steps. The Jesus I see in the New Testament is all about bringing “shalom” (peace, well-being) between God and man/woman, as well as shalom between people. Part of that shalom experience is justice… a humbling of the mighty and an elevation of the downtrodden. Therefore, I am called to stand for the oppressed. So, it only makes sense that I would be engaged in these conversations.
Having said that, my heart can quickly go to a place it doesn’t need to go. A place where Jesus wouldn’t walk. A place far away from the kingdom of God. A place of judgment. A place of sarcastic ridicule. A place of demeaning and degrading those who disagree with me. A place of darkness and a hard heart.
I am grateful that my Father never lets me stay in that place. And when I finally allow him to adjust my sight so I can see what’s really living in my heart, I realize that I am a part of the problem. It’s “me against me”. And, I’m grateful that he leads me to turn around, to choose a better path. And every time, EVERY time, he pulls me back in and holds me tight.
In some ways, this playlist is the story I just told. It encapsulates much of what I’ve felt in the recent past. I hope it resonates with you. I hope there is something in this that will pull you closer to center. Something that will be healing. Something that may just draw you into those same arms.