My heart has been so heavy over the events at and since Charlottesville. I’ve been anxious and worried about the immediate future of my loved ones in the US. Is the country moving toward increasingly intense civil unrest? What would that mean for them and for us?
Over this past week, social media conversations have consumed me, and I fear that those conversations are pointless. Those who sympathize with the white supremacists at Charlottesville seem to not want to reason but blame everyone except for the white supremacists for the seeds of their hate. It’s political not racist, they say. It’s because of the left, they say. It’s not a responsibility of believers to get involved, they say.
These consuming conversations have indeed taken my eyes off of the Gospel. In my straying, my heart has flared up in fear for my children. I used to find my mother’s frequent mentions that “the world was getting worse” as exaggerated. But I have seen now as an adult the proof, at least in the US society.
As I sit in my living room half a world away, my quiet apartment complex is untouched. My neighbors are happy. They’re happy with the progress of their own country. Their views of the US haven’t changed. It’s a great country. They can’t understand my sorrow for my homeland.
If I were in the US, I am not sure what I would do. Is it most effective to fight unjust laws? Is it best to focus on neighborhoods and ministries with churches? Should I protest alongside those who are protesting? But I’m not in the US, so I am left to use my voice in writing, to urge other believers to do something, especially to speak up, defend, challenge, and love.
What has left me incredibly encouraged, though, are the numerous calls for renouncing white supremacy from high profile Christian pastors and leaders all over the US. I have seen awesome comments, articles, and interviews. I am curious how action will follow these calls for taking a stand. Oh, how my heart hopes that my brothers and sisters in the US will no longer remain idle in the face of injustice!
Here are just a few challenging posts:
Regardless of where I am in this world though, I know I cannot forsake my responsibilities. Throwing my time away in angry social media conversations is not pointing anyone to the Gospel, and in that I must confess and repent.
I have a faith that must always be nurtured through devotion and prayer. I have a family that is my primary responsibility. God has clearly revealed in his word that I am to raise my children in the instruction of the Lord. I am to prepare them for a life in this world that isn’t rose-colored if they continue to follow Jesus. I have sisters and brothers in the faith I am to love as my own family. I have neighbors who are dying in sin and who are hurting too.
I am also charged with not to fear what is frightening, not to find my hope (or be hopeless) because my salvation, my hope, my joy is always supposed to be found in Christ. I need help in my unbelief, and the high priest at the Father’s side, he knows my weakness and provides grace and mercy in my time of need. I just need to go to him.
I haven’t been going to him. I’ve been turning to social media. I do need to speak out – definitely! But I don’t need to dwell there among the crazy mess of anger lashing out without reason. That is not fruitful unless they are real conversations with people I know personally or people who genuinely want to understand what’s happening and why.
Here too, I must repent.
Have you struggled with fear, anxiety, or anger over the events at Charlottesville? You can comment below or let me know via email to vanessa.jencks at gmail.com so I can pray for you.