Speak up! Silence isn’t silent.

Posted: January 24th, 2017 | Filed under: God | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments »

I’m a passionate person. If something interests me or affects me, I exhaust the available information to learn as much as I can about it. I’ve always avoided learning about political matters because I didn’t feel them affect my day to day life. I took for granted that more knowledgable people would keep things in line and I focused my energy elsewhere. I saw people get passionate about politics the same way I would get passionate about the Gospel and, of late, using food as your medicine, and I didn’t want to get caught up in it. However, this political season has pushed its way into my world to the point of not being able to ignore it. People are getting weird and I try to check out their sources. I want to see things from their perspective to compare it with mine. Consequently, I’m more informed. Being informed leads to shock and, at times, disgust. The more I see, the more I have something to say.

Politics began creeping into my awareness in the form of dissenting opinions of people I would consider friends. I would see their social media feed, the brazen negativity from otherwise positive people, and I would do a bit of research to gauge their accuracy and see what was getting them so worked up. Barely scratching the surface of the easily accessed information revealed the inaccuracy of my friends’ shared opinions and hurt my respect for them. It stained everything else they said. Including the things with which I would normally agree.

This had me double-checking information that I would normally take at face value, which isn’t a bad thing for me. However, if my friendship and/or respect is important to these people, then it was a bad thing for them. I became disappointed and increasingly sober. It wasn’t humorous in the absurdity. It was disheartening and scary. How could they not see it?

I found myself wanting to create distance so that I wouldn’t be associated with their politics, but I didn’t do a good enough job. Uncertain, uninformed, and, admittedly, unthinking friends, who didn’t know which direction to vote, would check out my posts, find nothing, and then gravitate to my friends’ posts who were more vocal. Someone came up to me and told me they voted for Trump because my friend made such a good case for why she was voting for him. My silence looked like my agreement. I learned a valuable lesson. Silence is not always silent.

Since then, that same friend confided that she regrets looking to my friends for voting direction and wishes she could take it back. She gained her independence through this, though. I know she’s not alone. And I’m sorry she trusted me so much that my associations were good enough for her. I need to be more careful about my associations or at least let my feelings be known.

I watched that man do everything possible to sink the ship on which he was sailing while my friends and fellow Christians made excuses for his behavior and patched up his holes. He was vulgar and sexually predatory and they would say “That was ten years ago.” He would mock a disabled man and they would say, “That’s just how he makes fun of people.” He would lie and they would say, “He’s just a colorful communicator.” He would talk about women saying they were “disgusting”. I watched him wish “the good old days” back as a protestor called him out on his KKK approval. “What good old days?” I wondered.

“In the good old days this doesn’t happen because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily. …I like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you what. I love the old days. You know what they use to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on stretcher, folks. That’s true. …In the good old days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast…. In the good old days, law enforcement acted a lot quicker than this. A lot quicker. …I am the law and order candidate.” – Donald Trump in response to protestors at his rallies. Click here to see his words against the backdrop of  “the good old days” as portrayed by the documentary “13th”. I highly recommend watching the whole documentary.

I don’t want to talk about him anymore.

I couldn’t believe he was actually elected. I was at work the following day and more than once, I escaped to the bathroom to cry privately when those around me were celebrating. I didn’t cry because he won. I cried because of what his win said about our country. I was no longer blind and what I saw broke my heart. I wanted this insanity to be over and for us to move on to a different kind of challenge, but it’s not over and I refuse to “normalize” what is abnormal and horridly destructive. I live in a very conservative part of the country. I’m surrounded by people who voted for him. I have kept my mouth shut because nobody has asked me what I think. I’m the quiet one. But as I sit quietly, I can’t believe that no one is speaking up. It makes me feel alone.

I struggle to separate politics from the person to the point of wondering if, in this case, there is a difference. I don’t think so. This isn’t about red or blue. Is it about Red, White, and Blue? The active word being “white”? Is it about a Russian agenda? I watch as children suffered horribly in Allepo at the hands of Russians and wonder how in the heck anyone could be okay with a friendly connection to them. Their faces haunted me and woke me up at night. I would pray myself back to sleep and cry when I was awake. It wrecked me. I would ask people around me if they were aware and they weren’t.

Do they not read the news? Oh, yeah. They don’t trust the news. Real things are happening, things they could do something about, causes they could support, they could be lifting these babies up in prayer… and they don’t watch the news. They don’t read the articles. They’re robots, but who is the programmer?

You know what’s most disturbing to me? A lot of his supporters are self-proclaimed Christians. They’re exalting him as though he’s going to do something to make their lives better. Do they think he’s going to get them more money? At what cost? Isn’t the love of money the root of all evil? Do they think he’s going to make them safer? He uses props and constructs a show like there are no consequences to the masquerade fallout. He’s used to a world where there is no such thing as “bad press”. If they’re talking about you, then you still get ratings. He calls himself “the ratings machine”. But this isn’t a show.

How can a Christian be a nationalist? We are no better than anyone else and thinking that God loves Americans more than any other country is asinine. I’m not saying that I don’t love my country or that I want to live somewhere else. I’m just saying that we are not better than anyone else and it’s more patriotic and Godly to embrace the outcasts and outsiders, and provide shelter for the war wrecked. Hypocrisy is the alternative. Read the words on our Statue of Liberty: 

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We, both as Americans and as Christians, are supposed to be a safe place. We, as Christians, are supposed to be gentle and kind. This man is dolling out lies and inconsistencies like a pedophile in an ice cream truck and the gullible are intoxicated by his schoolyard tune of dirty lyrics. They’re starstruck. They think this guy is going to get them something. Meanwhile, they sacrifice their witness and say things they can never take back.

I’m a Christian and I’m not like them.

I don’t support protesting him with violence, by defacing or misrepresenting the flag, or by hurting other people, and I don’t support the divisions. I don’t even support divisions between countries, colors, languages, genders, or any other differences. I’m struggling to know how to navigate this time in our history, but I know enlightenment can come from what appears to be darkness.

The whole world is watching us right now. Don’t stand down. Let love win.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash


16 Comments on “Speak up! Silence isn’t silent.”

  1. 1 @SantaDearest said at 9:16 am on January 24th, 2017:

    Just stopping by to hear your heart.

  2. 2 Serena said at 9:31 am on January 24th, 2017:

    Thanks, Santa. 🙂

  3. 3 Dawn said at 1:47 pm on January 24th, 2017:

    I always read your posts 😊
    I'm sorry you're suffering so much with this situation. The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. He regularly used Israelis enemies to discipline them. I think of Daniel and Joseph a lot when I think about how to submit to authority that isn't what I think is righteous. God is still God, thank goodness. And He can be trusted.

  4. 4 serenawoods said at 10:04 am on January 25th, 2017:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Dawn. 😊

  5. 5 Michelle Marie said at 4:33 pm on January 24th, 2017:

    Thought provoking Serena. I still can't believe that Trump was voted in. Scary stuff! I am Australian but will be praying for America.

  6. 6 serenawoods said at 5:37 pm on January 24th, 2017:

    Thanks, Michelle Marie. I felt the worldwide gasp. I'm praying with you and hoping for the best.

  7. 7 Aimee Fernback said at 8:19 pm on January 24th, 2017:

    Serena, I voted for Trump because Hillary Clinton is pro-abortion. I am a Christian, and I do see the problems with both Trump and our country. You could probably spend just as much time denouncing the wrongs of Mrs. Clinton.

    The point I would like to make is: America needs not a Trump, or a Clinton…but a SAVIOR; Jesus Christ. No one else will fix what is broken, here. Don't look to humans because they will, and do, fail. Just like you and me. Pray for our country to change our hearts, and be the change you want to see in the world.

  8. 8 serenawoods said at 8:23 pm on January 24th, 2017:

    Thank you, Aimee. 🙂

  9. 9 TKB said at 7:09 am on January 25th, 2017:

    I was actually shocked when I read this from you. 😔 Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, travelled to all of the states pre-election to pray for our country. His message was that when you go to the polls, if you can't vote for the person, you vote for what the party stands for. Sincerely wondering, since you think a christian shouldn't have voted Trump, if you honestly feel Clinton was the better choice. Clearly, one or the other was going to become president. I voted morals. We now have someone as the President of the United States who is standing up to Planned Parenthood. Someone who is going to place someone in the Supreme Court who has morals and abides by the constitution. Is he spotless – NO! But he has asked forgiveness. He prayed with christian leaders, and they communicated that they felt it was very heartfelt. (not that that is up to us). So this is where my shock came in that you would write this. Are you the same person you were 10 years ago? Did you not want to receive forgiveness for your sin? I remember reading your book, and to this day thinking so many times about how you stated the church basically threw you to satan in how they treated you. Yes, the man is arrogant among other things. But I will take arrogant, rude, and whatever else over what the other candidate had to offer.
    As far as Trump making fun of a disabled man, google that. It didn't happen. It was once again, the press mis-communicating. At least that is what is being told to us. The press has twisted absolutely everything, so how do we really know other than taking him for his word that that is not what he meant. His daughter, Ivanka, who no one is able to find a single negative thing to write about (which clearly you don't find in this day and age) says her dad is not like that. That all of these stories have been twisted. Does she think he needs to tone down and watch his words, of coarse. We are all entitled to our opinion, and vote at the polls as we are lead. So I'm okay with you not voting Trump, but really not very settled about your shock and awe with the christians who did. It wasn't voting the person, it was what was at stake and the platforms of each party.

  10. 10 serenawoods said at 8:05 am on January 25th, 2017:

    Thank you for sharing our thoughts, TKB. It's a subject that matters and affects people deeply. You said it best when you said, "We are all entitled to our opinion, and vote at the polls as we are lead."

    This reminds me of an analogy of six blind men and an elephant. Each approached the massive animal from different directions and, when asked to describe what they were touching, each had a completely different description and subsequent understanding. It would be safe to say that I may be by his rear end because I can feel the hot air and sense the potential for steaming waste to come raining down where I'm standing. Maybe you're by his giant ear and see the potential to use it as a fan to cool you in the heat or an umbrella to shield you from the storms. We may have different perspectives and logic tells us that we are neither completely right or completely wrong.

    I appreciate you sharing your perspective.

  11. 11 TKB said at 9:29 am on January 25th, 2017:

    Serena – so just curious, as a Christian, what would have been the way you would feel "okay" with voting in this election.
    Looking in the Bible, do we ever see that Jesus complained about who the elected official was? What the Word does say, is that we are to pray for them. We are to submit to authority. That isn't always what we want to do. Even in the work place. But unless they are asking us to do something immoral, to submit means to have a quiet spirit, and obey unto God. (I'm not saying be quiet, but the Bible says a quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight. Not because any man deserves honor or respect, but God does. Yes, there was a time to speak up, but now as Trump is the elected official, I see it as a time as Christians to rally and pray. Causing more strife and division at this time is not what we as Christians need to do. The immoral decay is happening quickly. Whoever you or I voted for is the past. What do we need to do today? Wishing you peace and comfort today. <3

  12. 12 serenawoods said at 10:03 am on January 25th, 2017:

    Gracious words, TKB. Thank you for them. 😊🌻

  13. 13 cmarie77 said at 3:51 pm on January 25th, 2017:

    Serena, thank you for this. These are the words I couldn't find myself, but agree with and feel so deeply. I too am a Christian and I am not like them. In fact I hesitate to even claim that word due to fear of guilty by association following this election season. I too watched in growing horror as friends hurt their witness in the ways you described. I just want you to know that you are not alone. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for finding these words. I am locking arms with you. I will not stand down, and I will do my part for love to win.

  14. 14 serenawoods said at 4:12 pm on January 25th, 2017:

    Thank you for being refreshing and encouraging, CMarie77. 😊 I was reminded in my Bible reading this morning of the sovereignty of God and to allow "elbow room" for Him to do what he does.

  15. 15 cmarie77 said at 6:23 pm on January 25th, 2017:

    I also want to commend your gracious responses to comments. I think you reflect Him well. Shalom.

  16. 16 serenawoods said at 8:07 pm on January 25th, 2017:

    Thanks for saying that. 😊

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