I was having a conversation with a longtime friend the day after the Trump protests in DC. He’s an atheist, very liberal, and isn’t high on pesky things like the 1st or 2nd amendment. I wouldn’t say he’s my antithesis, but close. He’s also been an extremely loving and kind friend to me for 25 years and I value him greatly.
Because I have so much respect for him as an “all-around guy” in my life, I am careful, as is he, to avoid deliberately stepping on one another’s toes. I tend to be more civil with him than others I oppose greatly. This is good for me. I need the practice. I have largely dismissed the idea that I need to pray for my enemy and those who have done me wrong throughout my life, and it has only been in recent years I’ve taken up the practice He commanded of me. As an aside, praying and forgiving your enemy is thoroughly helpful and calming. I highly recommend it.
As he and I talked and we followed one another through the pathways of recent history he highlighted some things about the BLM protests I hadn’t considered, and I had offered the same about the recent DC protests. I realize it was intended to be a rally and appeared to be mostly just that, but I’ll come full circle quickly on this for you.
We concluded our conversation and wished one another the best. I contemplated for a bit about something that was nagging at me. However, I couldn’t seem to scratch the itch. I finally occurred to me that I could, in fact, make a true and universal statement about each of the actions we’d discussed.
In 2020 we saw multiple protests over the idea surrounding systemic racism. Post-election we saw multiple protests over the idea of election fraud. If I made the statement to you, “Today’s protest serves to send a message that our political class has failed us and we have nearly no trust in our elected leaders” would you affirm it as true regardless of which event you had just attended? I sure hope so. Because that statement embodies both of the core precepts underlying each in premise and action.
After coming to this revelation, I called my buddy up and told him what I’d stumbled upon. He immediately agreed. He followed it up with a long winding series of complaints illuminating all that was wrong with everything surrounding us. He built a mountain of gripes and atop it, he dropped this ditty, “There’s no one answer is there?”
….To which I answered, “Jesus…”
He laughed a little. I was silent. I told him I believe the parallels between the two different camps were a symptom and not a dilemma. We need Jesus in our lives on every level. All of us. And we deny Him routinely. ….That my friends is the problem.
When a flunky like me can find a huge underlying problem in unison between two contradicting camps with an abyss between them, maybe we’re not asking and answering the right questions any longer.
The universal question we have is, “what do we need?” And we have the answer if we only chose to seek Him.