Meet Me in the Middle

I refuse to pick sides.

I’m stubborn, I admit that. I had a free hour session with a wellness coach last weekend. She told me one of my strengths was being self-aware. I really appreciated her saying that. Now I’m not saying I’m gonna do anything about the things I know about myself, but at least I’m aware of them. I’ll likely be stubborn til the day I die. I’ll likely die cussing and have to explain my disrespect and unapproved french to whoever escorts me to and through those supposed pearly gates. (Personally I’d like to think they are more rhinestone-y, but maybe that’s just my personal preference).

But there are many things in this life I refuse to do. Sometimes I refuse to back down. That’s a song lyric right? I am really good at refusing to give up, even though I likely throw my hands in the air twelve times on the same account. I also refuse to give up chocolate and palm sugar and plantains. I refuse to cut my hair like every other suburban mom and wear mom jeans. I also refuse to live in the suburbs with all the weird haircuts and mom jean wearing weirdos. I refuse to be racist, even though I’m white and apparently privileged, although nobody told me that growing up. I actually refuse to keep referring to myself as “white” even though it is most noticeable when I dance, sober. I refuse to hate people I don’t understand and I refuse to think God would want it that way.

But more lately, I refuse to pick sides.

I can’t do it. I can’t swing to the left, I can’t side with the right. I don’t even actually know which side IS which so that would definitely make it harder to choose. But I refuse to choose even so. I don’t believe my being a follower of Jesus demands me to pick a party line. First of all, I think they’re both wrong. And stupid. Meet me in the middle if you agree! And if you don’t, oh freaking well. I don’t need you to agree with me. My validation doesn’t come from people.

I don’t believe Jesus picked a side either. I think that is the reason the Savior of the world ended up drawing in the sand when they brought out the woman caught in adultery. I believe he was drawing circles instead of lines.

Where’s that kid with the giant crayon when you need him…? Can we get some circles in here?!?!

You know what a circle reminds me of? A hug. I am also of the belief that a hug can cure just about anything. Especially when you don’t want one. That angry guy from North Korea? He just needed a hug. That other angry guy that leads Russia (is that what we’re calling it these days?)…? Someone tell him he looks nice today and that he has a good smile, and then hug that bastard. I also believe I’ve avoided a lot of muggings in my life simply because I smiled at someone. Maybe that mugger just needs to meet a hugger.

“The first thing you gotta know about me?

I’m a HUGGER!”

I believe I was born in the wrong era. Peace, love, and hugs.

Sometimes I wear t-shirts or hats or whatever that people don’t like. My response when someone says something to me, is typically to laugh. Like when Sunny ruined the surprised party because they “wasted the good surprise on” him. (That is a Big Daddy reference. It’s iconic. If you didn’t know that, I don’t know why you’re reading my blog. Clearly we can’t be friends.) Sunny, the waster of the good surprise, just simply laughed a little and said, “ok,” namely because he simply DID. NOT. CARE. And more and more, I’m becoming the person who DOES. NOT. CARE.

There are a lot of things I care about in this world. Your opinion of me is not one of them. In fact, that is NOT what keeps me up at night. I have way more pressing issues than whether or not you “approve” of me. And I think if the whole world would come to this realization, we might actually get somewhere. Who knows? Maybe new policy should include hugs and not giving a f(#@#^. We’ve tried everything else under the sun, why not that.

I would never interject my political opinion into any online format, media, or the like. One, I don’t think I actually have a political opinion, and two, political opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one. But I will say this: I would NEVER, ever, in a million years or for all the money in the world, want to be the President of the United States. Never. Did you catch that? Ever.

First, I think whoever actually “volunteers” for that job, has to be either seriously delusional and crazy, or is a patriot and believes someone should take one for the team. Have you seen the way a presidency ages a person? Poor Barrack. I mean that guy used to look young. Not so much now. And George W? Man, he needed a touch up after his eight years as well. The turning point is always after four years. The job in and of itself must be exhausting, because it is exhausting to watch. No matter what, half the country hates you. And the other half loves you, but only for another five minutes. Not to mention the pressure. Personally I hate being the decision maker in our house. I’ve said it many times before but I don’t like that everyone in my house counts on ME for everything. I mean if this ship goes down, they all gonna die. Let’s just be clear here. But being the decision maker and the one who literally and figuratively is responsible for pulling the trigger every damn day?!!? No thank you.

I like to believe everyone is doing the very best with what they’ve been given. And some haven’t been given much. But nevertheless, we carry on.

And no matter what, the bible still says we are to respect our leaders. Sure we can talk bad about them at the kitchen table with our family members, but we should always respect the office they hold, right, wrong, or indifferent, as Mr Olson always says.

Because whether you voted for them or not, they were in fact placed there for a reason and God is still on the throne. It is not like He took vacation and oops look who ended up in your Senate seat. God is still God. And God is really good at being God. I mean for His sakes He’s been doing this job for quite some time now, and unlike year four for the US President, He’s not aged or been phased by His country’s antics. And believe it or not, the US is not the only country God “presides” over. (If you ever forget this fact, just recite that old children’s song, ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands…’) Can we please just GET OVER ourselves, America?

I’ve tossed myself around silly over the dividing lines, listening to both sides of the coin, listening to people complain about the evangelical church and other people complain about the progressive and even more so complain about something else, and you know what I finally figured out? It’s all just angry noise. And I want no part of it. In fact, I’m just gonna sit here in the middle, ON the line, and wait for Jesus to come back, or other people to join me. Either way. I may be sitting on this line for some time, by myself, but at least it’ll be quiet. I can’t in good faith pick a side. I just can’t. Honestly, I think political parties are stupid, and they’re both wrong. And angry. And I don’t want to live my remaining years here on this earth being an “angry christian”. You want to talk about an oxymoron…?

Last time I checked, my anger was not a prerequisite for my faith. I don’t need to log onto Facebook or Instagram and see what we need to be angry about today to be a part of some club that either costs too much to get in, or I’m not dressed appropriately for. I can’t do it. And the whole thing IS what has kept me up at night. When did we get so angry???

It is literally making me angry…ironically.

How far gone have we become that we’ve literally given the devil a vacation? He doesn’t have to lift a finger anymore. We’re so good at just doing all the work ourselves, of tearing one another down, pointing the ever accusing political finger, becoming offended at just about anything and everything. There is so much infighting in the church it is no wonder people are turned away. Who needs something else to be angry about these days?

Francis Chan gave a great teaching on end times in Revelation that I read a few years back. He talks about what the behaviors of the people are going to be like, and how we measure up today. I can’t remember the exact verses but it talks about people bickering and fighting and lying and cheating and misusing scripture to hurt one another and assign blame, gossiping, slander, back-biting. And he made the point to say, ‘and he’s talking about the church here. Do you see it here, already?’ I have for years, but I can tell you, it has certainly gotten a lot worse lately. Why does the devil even need to show up for work, when we are so damn good at tearing one another apart and down and kicking each other in the ribs on our own accord?

So me? I refuse to pick sides. I refuse to be a part of the problem. I do intend to be a part of the solution.

Live and love THAT way.

 

 

 

**The Rosey the Riveter Pop Art can be found by an artist on Etsy through this link! Support your local artisans. This one is pretty badass.

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