What Can We Speak into This Moment?

My dear friends,

Oh, how I wish I was wise enough and skilled enough with words to write a post about recent happenings that would minister to your hearts and sort truth from lies. Like you, I am laid low by what has transpired in our country. I would say it has driven me to my knees but in truth, that is where I have lived for some time now.

The violent acts of a few have traumatized a nation and ignited all manner of retaliative evil. Like you, I am grieved at the choices of those who acted with such foolish disregard for the law. I am also grieved for those who were peacefully exercising their right to protest but who are now painted with the same broad brush of condemnation. We’ve seen this happen repeatedly for many months in our country but still, we refuse to engage in discerning and nuanced dialog about what has occurred.

As horrified as I was at the violent invasion of the Capitol, I have also been horrified at the aftermath. Of course, we must speak out unwaveringly that violence is not acceptable in our midst. Of course, this must be stated with zeal and announced from every corner of society. And yet, beyond that, we rush to judging the lawful and the law keepers along with the lawless who appeared on our television screens that day.

From our smartphones and laptops, we pontificate about motives and missteps. All at once, each of us is capable of not only running the District of Columbia and its police force, but the entire nation. We all seem to have the answers and yet, a closer inspection of our lives would confirm the truth of Scripture that none of us has the right to throw stones.

While I believe firmly in speaking out against evil, it is always right to obey God to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 Our brother James lived in days of extreme tyranny and persecution. His words must have been a letdown for many believers and yet, they are from our Father God.

I have friends on both ends of the political spectrum. Christians I love have made strong cases for either political party based on biblical values. While every believer I know values caring for the poor, racial equality, freedom, and the sanctity of all human life – from the unborn to the disabled and dying, their ideas about how to demonstrate those values through national laws, policies, and cultural practices vary widely and are often at odds. There are fools on both sides but also there are sincere, Jesus-loving souls working to apply God’s Word in the context of complex conversations.

I also am a friend to many who operate in the arena of policies over person. For them, no one candidate has embodied our faith in both life and policy. They have strong opinions about ideologies and public practice but feel each candidate falls short and so they prayerfully vote their conscience – not with wholehearted endorsement but with trepidation and trust in God’s sovereign will. Their voting record is private – not out of fear but from prioritizing the furthering of God’s kingdom above all else and not wanting to place any stumbling block in the way of a soul who needs to see Jesus in them more than they need their opinion about how our nation should be run.

Also horrifying to me in the rhetoric and the rush to act is the silencing of voices in a nation that once valued free speech. Individuals who shout “fire” in a crowded theater should be confronted and face the consequence of their actions, but social litmus tests and broadband censorship should sober us all. And yet, fear is the quadrant where the faithless quarter, the fortress of those who make idols of countries and kings, the justification of those who lust for power and so exploit any crisis to further the suppression of their detractors. We will not fear for God is with us. The courage He provides enables us to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, and to stand when evil would claim the day.

So, here is my comfort in days of unrest,

Forgive me for my shortcomings as a believer and as a writer in a moment such as this. My words pale against the sorrow of our souls. But if my words do anything, I pray they will direct your heart, your mind, and your hopes to Jesus Christ alone. May God have mercy on us all.

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    The Conversation

  1. Linda Harris says:

    Well said, although I share your frustration at what to say. There’s a lot to say, but most of it is unhelpful at best. Lord, give us the right attitude, the right words, and the right humility.

  2. Connie says:

    Thank you, Lori. Wise counsel, reminders, and comforting words.

  3. Ann Jorgensen says:

    These are very comforting and inspiring words during this very difficult time. I like that you gave me no answers but directed me to THE Source. The source of truth… of peace… of light… of wisdom… of love. I needed this today. I often say this about the words you share, but it is true today more than ever. I pray today that God will continue to bless you with wisdom and to give you the words that inspire and comfort.

  4. Kelly says:

    Wonderful words! My heart is broken from all that has occurred but you gave me focus and truth to stand on. May God continue to bless your writing because it truly ministers His grace, love and hope to all who read it.

  5. Cher Gatto says:

    Just what I needed today, Lori! Thank you 🙂

  6. Paul Taylor says:

    I am at a loss for words other than I am really glad that God is in charge.

  7. Sherry Kaiser says:

    Thank you and God bless you, Lori. Excellent commentary and exhortation.

  8. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this Lori. It’s so difficult to know what to say to others when they don’t share the same beliefs/mindset. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about “prioritizing the furthering of God’s kingdom above all else and not wanting to place any stumbling block in the way of a soul who needs to see Jesus in them more than they need their opinion about how our nation should be run”. I believe this is key during these times and have been trying to keep this in the forefront of my mind. Praying for strength, humility and clarity from the Holy Spirit.

  9. Kathy J Perry says:

    Eloquent words giving us all focus toward the Lord, our Father in Heaven, Creator, Savior. Thank you for penning these thoughts and putting fear into its place. Blessings~

  10. Sherry Carter says:

    Thank you for such an honest post, Lori, that reflects what we all feel. One of my dear friends sang a solo in church this morning. She had a hymn picked out but she heard the Spirit whisper that we needed to be reminded Jesus is our solid rock. She sang the words, “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,” and it brought our eyes to God’s sovereignty and faithfulness.

  11. Mj says:

    This brought me peace tonight……thank you.

  12. Cheri says:

    Amen! Thank you, Lori!

  13. Lori Altebaumer says:

    Thank you, Lori. I believe you express whst so many of us feel in our hearts and your words of encouragement should remind us that we are not without hope. We are not without a pathway forward.

  14. […] to offer comfort? What wisdom do I share? Lori Roleveld climbed into my mind with her latest post, What Can We Speak Into This Moment?  Please read it … ponder the words … and know that we are not alone. God’s still […]

  15. Maureen says:

    Thank you for directing our hearts and minds to JESUS! I’m one who is very grateful for the words you share, having been guided by the Holy Spirit. Bless you!

  16. carla femat says:

    Amen..of course, well said. Our Hope is in the Living God!