I’m a big fan of parables. Jesus used these to help emphasize the points He was trying to make with His followers and I believe there is probably no better way to get a point across than to present it as a story. Big surprise there, right? In any case, I’ve been thinking for a while now that there must be some way to get people to really examine what is going on in our world today and look at all of the facts in a more realistic, less emotionally-driven way. At one time, we seemed to be perfectly rational people, but something happened somewhere along the way and people stopped using their common sense muscles. So, I’m going to attempt to tell you a little story. It may help, it may not. You may get it, you may think I’m as nutty as a fruitcake. Either way, I’m secure enough in my mental stability to put this out there and know that it may not reach everyone the same way. And that’s okay.
A long time ago, here in this particular galaxy, there was a girl who dreamed of being someone that everybody loved. She watched lots of television and movies and she would dream about the day when she, too, could have fabulous parties on her own yacht with all of her favorite celebrities present. She even pretended that her bunk bed was that fancy boat and every day, she would have tea parties and invite her very favorite actors and singers for tea and cookies. What fun she had!
Some years passed and she grew up. She graduated to a regular bed and no longer held the “celebrity tea parties” she had been hosting throughout her early years. Instead, she went to school and made real friends. Sometimes, she even had real tea parties where she invited her real friends over…though she didn’t really call them tea parties anymore. She even understood that the parties she used to have with her favorite celebrities were not actually real parties…they were really just part of her very vivid imagination. Real friends were much more fun and this whole reality thing worked very well.
Fast forward about fifteen or twenty years. Having gone through many different challenges living in this “real” world, this girl struggled through a long period of depression and anxiety. She’d been the victim of rape, she had struggled with alcoholism, she’d had several miscarriages, and the pain was just too much. At one point, she decided that it was time to simply shut some things out. Life had become too difficult and some of it was too scary to deal with. She couldn’t watch the news. She couldn’t watch movies with too much violence or drama. She couldn’t deal with intense situations. She’d suffered through trauma and it just seemed easier to tune out anything that seemed painful to her. This went on for a few years until, one day, the fear began to subside.
As she began to come out of her self-induced stimulus coma, she slowly started to allow herself to look at everything. Strangely, what she saw was quite different than she had expected it to be. Instead of just reading news that sounded good to her, she allowed herself to read about everything. In fact, she began to seek out different perspectives. Every story has at least two sides, right? What she found was that some of the things she had believed for a very long time were not necessarily true. Some of the things she had learned over the years, were the product of cultural beliefs that had been passed down from generation to generation. Some of what she had been told had been part of a narrative that had been perpetuated by a corrupt system trying desperately to hold onto power so that it could continue to make money from the suffering of those who had no power. Some of what she had heard was simply rumor that had been spread by those who had a limited understanding of reality and how life truly worked. And some was simply not true and had been touted as gospel by those who wished to take advantage of the ignorance of others who blindly followed whatever they were told.
Since she wasn’t a big fan of being led around by her nose, she decided to put on her “big girl pants” and dig around for the truth. The actual truth. The part that could be proven. The part that some people were fighting very hard to hide from the rest of the world. The part that seemed obvious to only a few. And then, she prayed. She prayed for clarity. She prayed for wisdom. She prayed for strength. She prayed for God to expose what was hidden. She prayed for God to shine a light on what had once been in the dark.
And He did. Once she set aside all of her pride and worldly wisdom and trusted in what God was showing her…He did.
She did not sit angrily and tell God that He was wrong. She did not pray for people to die. She did not throw tantrums in her car and post them on social media for everyone to see. She did not forget that even when she didn’t agree with something, she still had to be civil and that there is never a circumstance where wishing violence and pain on others is acceptable. She did not go out and riot with others. She did not destroy anyone else’s property.
She tuned in and opened her eyes and ears to what was being said on all sides and then took it to God in prayer. And then she woke up every day, did her work, paid her bills, took care of her child, and remembered what God had already shown her.
And all was well in her heart and mind. And all would be well in the world. As God has said many times over. He is in control. He has a plan. He is not surprised by anything that we are seeing. And He will take care of His children.
So, take heart. Even if things don’t quite look the way you want them to look right now, it will all be okay. Find comfort in God’s word. Stop looking to this world to answer your questions. It doesn’t have the answers.