I can get so confused, trying not to judge the judgers. Trying so hard to remain out of the game in which we all strut around, pointing fingers and smirking.
I hate that game.
So on a whirly head kind of sleep-deprived day, the last thing I need to hear is that the Haiti that I love is being ridiculed by a Christian man, a man who blames the people of Haiti for a cracking earth and buried babies and children. He says it happened because of their choices.
It's ridiculous, no? I mean, why give his words weight? Why play the game? Why jump on the Twitter bandwagon, bashing his antics? Why?
This time I couldn't help it. I was just so angry.
I heard what he said and it was much the same as the sock in the gut this is so wrong feeling I get when I read bumper stickers from some extremist with what seems a heart of stone. The kind of finger-pointers with their snide sticky words to bumpers. I try to roll my eyes and make peace with it, somehow. I try. I try to read the words plastered there for every driver that has the misfortune of stopping at a red light behind them, and then I try to let it go.
Because I know so many Christians who are living something so opposite of a cliche, of a bumper sticker. They are down in the dirt and in the dirt and in the cardboard box. They are giving and giving and working hands to callous and serving to love for the sake of justice. They have no time for bumper stickers.
I try to stop there because otherwise I make it about me. How right I am. How wrong they are. How good I am, with my good and accepting and unconditional heart. How bad they are with their self-righteous arrogance on cars and righteous shaking heads.
If I don't stop at the fume, the eye roll and the deep breath, I end up staring off into space. I imagine them before God, getting a finger wagging with a you had no clue what this was all about, now did you? And then His voice booms and He shouts at them, you never knew me! You knew rules and lines and religion, but you never knew me! You didn't know me, or you would have loved my people, ALL my people!
And it's a problem if I imagine all of that because then next I see me, and it's my turn in line and God smiles and He hugs me and we high five...
You see? Probably a dangerous road to travel, the all about me, it's OK to judge the judgers road.
It's just not my job.
And also, when was the last time I was in the dirt and bone weary from service to the poor and hurting of this world when my head hit the pillow?
Here's the thing. I think I'm supposed to be angry about the bumper sticker words and the remarks, the blame, the extremes. I just don't always know what to do with the angry.
Sometimes "I write to find out what I'm thinking." (A writer said that, but I don't know which one.)
So I guess that's what I'm doing here, today. Because I didn't know what else to do. I was pacing and there was this big lump in my throat and I kept seeing Tara's face, knowing she's there, she's in Haiti and I know she's going to hurt when she hears what he said and I want to hug her.
During Cupcake last weekend I learned once again how much of a need I have to live a little more loudly, stop hiding behind my tendencies toward people pleasing just to play nice. How my feelings need more sleeve and less time under rocks. When they are under rocks they are not their inherent shape and then they eat at me and color me indifferent, apathetic. They move toward bumper sticker extremism when left unchecked.
Maybe that's what happened, so many people stifling their feelings until they're so insecure they have nothing left to do but finger-point and shout evil sinner! in some other direction then their guilty for apathy selves.
I don't know.
I want to be apathatic about as much as I want to be judgmental. And I can be, so I guess I'm doing some sleeve-wearing emotional stuff today because I hate it when I turn toward judgment.
And then I need to forgive somehow. Somehow.
All I can do right now is say please don't look at him. Please don't even spend your time there. Spend it here, with Christians who are not all about what people are doing wrong, but who are all about loving the hurting, the poor, the widow, the orphan. Look at them.
Take a moment. Roll your eyes at the bumper sticker kind of extreme remarks of a man and allow the anger to rise. It's there for a reason. Then take a deep breath and learn from Christians who are in the darkest place, so dark they don't even have time to pay Pat Robertson any mind. They are too busy being Christians, searching for survivors and then falling to their beds bone-tired and wanting nothing more than to do it again.
Look at them.
I want to be like them.
I woke up with a crying boy and my whirly head won't let me sleep until I say that my point is not a theological one, exactly. I've gotten emails and messages on Twitter defending Pat Robertson. I won't begrudge people their theological opinion, but I don't have to agree with it. And even if I did, I don't understand WHY the kinds of things PR said would even need to be said. Why kick someone in the gut in their pain?
My point was, what I was trying to say, is that maybe we shouldn't even have time to say such things. Maybe we shouldn't have time for bumper stickers and finger pointing. Maybe we should be more like my friends, simply living lives of love and service, the kind of full of grace lives that leave no time for extreme remarks.
And also, Elizabeth Esther said it better than I can and it's much shorter, which is nice.