Dull of Hearing

“For the people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.” -Matthew 13:15-16 (KJV)

How many of you have felt like you want to speak up about what’s going on out there in the world, but if you would say anything you would not be heard, or you’d be shouted at and belittled? Maybe not just the stuff about the virus or masks or the protests or the riots and looting, or goodness, not even the protestors trying to take over cities. I’ve been wondering how to deal with that all. I’ve considered saying my piece, but honestly, it feels pointless, and I also feel like there’s enough noise out there without me adding my two cents. Besides, there are people out there who are far more eloquent than me, so why not let them do the talking?

And I don’t want to hastily jump in on a topic without having thought things through, even if I have strong opinions on the matter. I guess that’s where some of this gets tricky, because it’s NOT just my opinion, it’s facts over feelings. It’s fine if we all have our own opinions, and we are all gifted free will, which allows us to come to our own conclusions. But it’s impossible to discuss something with somebody who refuses to listen and to think and to rationalize. And that is true for any side of any argument. This is not simply a one side over the other. If we do not intend to listen, then we are not, by definition, having a conversation or discussion. Those two concepts require people talking TO or WITH somebody, not AT them… a discussion can be had in writing, but you have to ACTUALLY, LOGICALLY take into account other thoughts and ideas.

The idea that we can all have our own truth is so utterly stupid and terrifying. Fact and truth. They ARE. They cannot be changed to fit your perspective, we cannot just deceptively edit things to fit our narrative. And the back and forth heated emotions, they don’t help anybody. That’s not to say that I don’t feel heated or emotional, but I also don’t think it’s acceptable to pull the same baloney tactics that your adversaries pull. If you think they are the scum of the earth, if you think they are evil, if you feel such distain for the way that they act, what makes you think that stooping to their level and acting the same way is acceptable?

The two big reasons there is so much tension in the world right now is that A) people are living in fear right (I can’t speak for everybody, but there is a lot of this in the U.S.A.), and life is getting pretty uncomfortable…Most of my generation or my parents generation either haven’t ever felt this uncomfortable or they haven’t in a long time. And B) we are facing a world that is becoming increasingly Godless. We are talking about two perspectives that cannot be easily reconciled unless we can acknowledge that. Even then, it’s not something that just goes away.

We can argue this point until we are blue in the face…There is a huge difference when it comes to morals with or without God. I know that people can still have morals if they do not believe in God or a god. I know that people can still be rational. I know that there are rational people out there who do not believe in God, but there are also many rational people who do. The person who believes in a creator has a strict set of morals to abide by. They don’t all do it, but we’re all given the same exact set of morals, and it SHOULD dictate how we live. The non-believers believe in a set of morals that are just sort of “universally known,” but I absolutely cannot agree with that. Without having these morals clearly defined, they become relative. I believe God wrote them in our hearts to know, and that we can know them without knowing Him yet.

But if you do not have a set, definitive source for your morals, then they can be changed on a whim. You cannot simply say “everybody knows that killing is bad,” because that is clearly not true. If it were, then nobody would ever be killed intentionally. You cannot just say “stealing is wrong,” because if everything is relative and there is no God, then the rule can be “steal if you want to.” You cannot just argue that I’m wrong on that, simply because you don’t think that it would work like that. It is inevitable that you will get some crazy, evil person who will do the wrong things, who will do what is bad.

Our priest said it so well in church the other day…. All people are made up of good and evil. Evil is whatever is not good. Some people can be “labeled” as evil because their habits, actions, beliefs largely fall under the category of evil, yet that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of some good, too. And everyone, no matter how vile, has the opportunity to turn good, to let the evil be removed from their life, to outpace the weeds of their life. Some people can be labeled as good. They have habits and actions and beliefs that fall under the category of good. But they still have some actions within them that are not good (evil), even if that which is not good doesn’t necessarily seem evil. And yet, that evil can be the downfall of a person. None of this is to say that we should go around labeling anybody as good or evil. It’s to say that we can define the good and the bad, and it’s possible to recognize that in a person, but we should not assume that somebody is “saved” or “lost” for all of eternity because of it.

The concept he was speaking of is so true, because this is what can make having these conversations with people so difficult. They aren’t just good or just evil. They are both. I know that I’m both. I know my shortcomings, I know where I need to improve in my life. And I’m sure there are areas I don’t always see, but I’m always on the lookout for the bad/evil in myself. Our world, our society is currently so mixed up, that it is next to impossible to point out the evil anymore, not because it’s not there, but because we’ve become so numb to it.

Having our faults (our sins) pointed out never really feels good. Having the errors of our ways exposed can be an incredibly painful thing. How often has God shown me that I have acted in a way that was not good, and it stung? How many times have I had an opinion on something that went against the facts, and when faced with the facts, I had to give up my pride and accept what was right and true? It’s a difficult thing to humble ourselves and accept when we have been wrong, and I have been wrong many times throughout my life.

Perhaps the reason that things feel like they have gotten so out of hand is this… We have more unbelievers than ever, and because this is not one family vs. another, and it is family member against family member, those who believe are faced with trying to have a relationship with those who do not. They love their family members and do not want to lose them, so they say “Well, it’s not by business.” Eventually they make concessions on their faith and say “Maybe the church needs to get with the times?” God never said, “These are my rules, but… they’re really more like guidelines.”

It’s not totally true that it’s not your business what others do. I mean, yes, we need to give people respect and privacy, and people ultimately have to make their own decisions, but we are called on to speak to them in love and kindness when they are doing something wrong. We have the ability to help stunt the growth of the evil in their lives. But because we have been so afraid of losing these people in our lives, we have conceded where it mattered most, and now we find ourselves face to face with people who do not think the way we think, who do not want to rationalize, who believe sin is not real, and we can no longer understand one another.

That’s the real problem. Sin. It either is, or it isn’t. We are either capable of it, or we are not. And maybe what makes it even harder to discuss is that kind of at the heart of it all, for the most part, we really want the same thing. We just don’t agree on how to get there. One side says the end justify the means, and the other side says that the means need to justify the end. In other words, do whatever you need to get the job done, vs. the goal is so important that our actions need to reflect and uplift that goal.

I don’t intend to write continually about any of this, but I guess I felt it heavy on my heart to remind myself and others of what we are up against and how we need to handle ourselves going forward. There is a good chance we will all face very uncomfortable confrontations in the coming months. With this being a very important presidential elections, tensions will likely continue to rise as November draws near. We will probably see even more protesting and riots, and neighbor pitted against neighbor. We need to think before we speak, we need to speak from a place of love and compassion, we need to listen and hear and change when it is warranted, and stand firm where it matters most.

I hope the tensions of the world aren’t taking the joy out of your days. I hope you are finding peace and productivity among the madness.

Love and Blessings~Danielle

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