My heart aches for my country today. For the hatred and the alienation, for the division and the brokenness. My heart goes out to those who feel betrayed by their own country and for the damage that has been done, as I strive to respect the leadership that is now in place and trust God’s hand in all of this.
My mind is heavy with words yet I am at a loss to know what to say.
Broken culture is everywhere – media, entertainment, business, and politics. We have watched while Hollywood waters down masculinity and femininity, inflames racial issues, and perpetuates destructive worldviews. We have been alienated and put down and shamed and belittled in a thousand ways. Silence and passiveness have been celebrated as well as abuse and violence. Our differences have been labeled as weakness, rather than strength.
We shed tears for the state of this nation, but may we weep also for the times we have remained silent while all this was happening around us—when we closed our eyes to the pain and the hurt. May these times awaken within us that which has stayed dormant for far too long. May we embrace our God-given differences, our individual strengths and recognize how desperately we need each other.
So how do we process this? How do we not only cope, but rise up and take action?
Friends, I implore you, look for the light. If you can’t find kindness around you, be it. Be the good that you wish to see in the world. Envision the kind of world you want your sons and your daughters to live in, and begin to live in that hope. Champion hope, for hope is the substance of change. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Cast vision for the broken people around you and lend them strength to keep fighting for love and unity.
Most importantly of all…pray. Intercede on behalf of broken leadership, broken systems, and broken hearts. Pray Daniel 9 over this nation. Pray for repentance, unity, truth, love, and deep healing in every heart. Pray for those who stand against you, even when it’s hard…especially when it’s hard. Lean into the heartache and grief; let them fuel your prayers for radical change. Encourage others to do the same.
And in the meantime, here is a list of 7 things you can do to promote kindness this week. #spreadlovenothate
7 Ways to Spread Kindness this Week:
- Practice gratitude. Write down 3-5 things every morning that you’re grateful for. Point out things you love about the people around you. Look for the good in people.
- Listen first. Be slow to criticize. Pay attention to what kind of vibes someone is giving off—are they stressed or uptight or defensive? Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about what they may be feeling and why.
- Let love be the motive that guides and informs you. Forgive. Extend grace. Let go of the outcome.
- Do something that brings you joy. Take a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood. Color a picture. Bake brownies. Call a loved one. Paint. Write. Tell a silly joke. Be intentional about it. If you are joyful, you will emanate joy to the people around you.
- Do a small act of kindness—anonymous or not. Write a thank you letter or note of encouragement. Bring someone coffee. Do the dishes. Send an encouraging text. Bring home flowers. Hold the door open.
- Ask someone how they are and linger for a few undistracted minutes. Take time to genuinely listen to their answer. Don’t touch your phone. Let them know they are seen.
- Smile. At your loved ones, your neighbor, that co-worker that drives you nuts, the stranger in the grocery store. Look them in the eyes and genuinely smile. Say hi, nod your head…whatever it is you do, but smile. Spread kindness.
Now go do it, hope warrior. We’re counting on you.