Listen and Love

The world makes me so sad these days. All over the internet and social media, people are tearing down anyone different than them. I am not going to share my opinions on the media firestorms that are happening, because that won’t help anyone.

All I can do is listen and love.

That is the problem with the internet. It is words. There is no heart behind it. There are no hugs. And to me, the biggest problem is there is no eye contact. We can tear each other down with a few words. We can spew anger at someone for their actions without knowing their story. We don’t know what made them do something and if it was a mistake.

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

Yeah, those were Jesus’ words, not mine. What happened to that mentality? When did we start thinking brutality and hatred are the correct ways to go?

How do we correct this? I am glad you asked. If only the government would ask my opinion. Ahem.

I have been thinking about this all weekend. My heart is so heavy over all I see. We have stripped away people’s humanity and only see a name. The only way to correct this is pretty radical. Are you ready?

We talk face to face. Crazy, I know. We sit with people who are different than us and share our stories. We look people in the eyes and listen to their story. We don’t condemn their decisions, but instead show compassion. We think about if it were us in their shoes and how hard it would be to go through that. Maybe we would have done something different, but we don’t know that.

The only way this works is if the people we are talking to come from a different life or have different beliefs. If everyone we know thinks like us and agrees with us, we have a sad life. There is so much in the world-so much to admire and learn from. If we assume our answers are the only right ones, we may be wrong. Diversity is beautiful.

My wish is that we could gather in small groups, maybe five people total. We would sit in a circle and talk. Talk about life and society and choices we make. We hash out different beliefs and why we feel the way we do. We walk away with a new perspective and a deeper respect for those who look different, talk different, or think different than we do. We keep doing this until the first thing we think to do is not jump all over someone in hate, but to rally around them in love.

All of us have feelings as well as scars from old wounds. I would rather be the band-aid than the knife.

How about you?

Linking with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart


10 thoughts on “Listen and Love

  1. You are so right, Sarah. Without eye contact, with no clue about body language, with no ability to reach out and offer a hand or a hug, online words are a difficult thing to share effectively and compassionately.

    There’s a time and place for everything … and an evaluation that says ‘Am I loving well?’

    Hard stuff. Thanks for putting it on the table, friend …

  2. Sarah,
    I agree we hide behind our computer screens and spew out venomous words. We don’t ask enough questions to discover what it might be like if we stood in their place on the other side of the fence. We would do well to remember the 2nd part of the great commandment: to love others as we love ourselves. Thanks for a thought provoking post! So glad to be linking up next to you…

  3. Well said, Sarah! Visiting from #coffeeforyourheart today! You describe what almost seems to be a lost art in this fast-paced technology driven world. I love the pic on your header as well as the scripture you chose. The passage is a favorite one of mine.

    1. Thank you for coming by! Yes, there are way too many lost arts now. We shouldn’t throw things by the wayside tha make us kind and force us to pay attention to those around us.

  4. I’m with you! Something similar to your idea happened at outdoor school last week when students from my school (Native Americans) chose to forgive kids from the school that went with us for racial slurs they had heard–before the other kids had confessed and decided to ask forgiveness. It was beautiful. My kids ended up being asked for their forgiveness (probably for the first time in their lives)–I have a feeling it will make a huge difference in their lives!

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