I don’t really like confrontation. I am a person who needs time to think through and gather my thoughts before responding. I’m not typically quick on my feet to come back with an appropriate answer or quip or pun. When I was managing people in the business world, I liked to have my thoughts bullet-pointed and well laid out before having meetings with my staff to discuss tough issues. When forced to have hard conversations on the fly, I sometimes said things in ways that didn’t come out the right way and I left with a sense of remorse or regret. When I have impromptu ‘tete a tete’ with my kids (especially my teenagers) – my words often get overtaken by my emotion and I end up yelling and saying things I later apologize for. Things I can’t imagine my mom ever saying to me.
On the whole – I am a people pleaser. I like making sure everyone is happy – enjoying themselves, feeling fulfilled. So having confrontations that leave people angry, upset or in a state of unrest due to my words really haunts me.
So lately – I’ve said nothing.
I am sure to many who are just scrolling the virtual world on social media my silence makes me look like a person who doesn’t care about what has happened in our world these last several days and the events that happened in the days and months leading to this explosion of emotion. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have so many emotions about it all that it is overwhelming to me. Most of all – I am sad. I find myself thinking; what fuels such anger and rage within a man for it to rise up and cause him to hold down another man and kill him? – where are the depths of sorrow and fear generated that are strong enough for him to lose control and take another life?
There are so many thoughts and emotions I can hardly speak and I really don’t know how to articulate all that I am thinking and feeling in a productive way. And honestly, (in my opinion) my opinion doesn’t matter much and doesn’t help better the situation.
We all have different reactions and ways of dealing with the cruel, unjust and unfair actions in our world. And I believe each reaction and action can play a part in what can be progress and change. Each of us has the potential to be a different cog in the wheel of a changed world. Some march, some protest, some support voting differently, some provide financially, some are great organizers, some rally, some write letters, some console and lead the children, some sing songs, some post videos, and some do what I do – pray.
I keep hearing my God voice saying – “you reap what you sow.” And right now – my sowing is love and vigilant prayers.
I pray for….people to know that they are perfectly, wonderfully made. I pray for peace to overcome hatred. I pray for homes to teach and give love unconditionally from the moment life begins so that the cycle of anger and hate can end. I pray that voices be heard and conflict and difference of opinion be celebrated as diversity. I pray that we understand that love breeds love and hate breeds hate. But most of all, I pray that each and every person on earth know that this is not our destiny – this is our training ground – the promise of heaven awaits us because the biggest battle of our lives has already been won on our behalf.
And I will be honest – I worry that even in saying this that some people (even people very close to me) will roll their eyes and mistake my action as inaction or “only praying” as unimportant and useless. Please believe me, I know and am witness to the power of prayer. I have seen it, been a recipient of it and I will continue to use it as my fiercest weapon in this battle. This is my calling – in the words of a Christian artist Elyssa Smith from the group Upper Room – “This is how I fight my battles.”
I’m convinced that it will take all of our different approaches to move the needle in making the world a better place. We need the doers- the speechmakers – the defenders – the organizers and they pray-ers. I ask humbly that you follow your calling with love and peace as your motivator and support me (maybe even join me) in my silent (and sometimes not so silent) prayers.