I made a commitment several weeks ago to participate in a religious/political event. That event was today. By last night, I really, really wanted to back out. I searched my brain for a million reasons why I could not go today. None of them were sufficient. Well, maybe I could have gotten away with it if it wasn't my sister that I had committed to. There was no way she'd let me out of it. So, reluctantly and nervously, I went.
I hate confrontation. I can stand up for myself just fine. I can stand up for my family, my children, my friends, my beliefs. It's just that I prefer to not put myself in situations where I have to. The event today was doing just that...putting myself on the front line of confrontation...in a place where opposing beliefs are strongly vocalized.
Although it was peaceful and very few mean spirited judgements where stated, I was still uncomfortable. Honestly, I hated being there.
And then I got to thinking, maybe this is why I needed to be there.
I've grown accustomed to my bubble. My friends and I don't hold all of the same values and beliefs. When it comes to politics and religion and parenting we are nowhere close to being on the same page. We can discuss it all civilly, learn from each other, and in most cases agree to disagree. Mainly, we believe in each persons right to live according to their own values.
I live in a small community. My kids go to a private, religious based school. I attend church regularly. I've had my share of ups and downs in life. My plate is often full. My family struggles with mental illness and alcoholism. Life can be hard.
But, I choose everyday to find the good God has intended. I believe people are inherently good. That good will defeat evil.
Today, was an eye-opener. To be in a part of the city that is so different from my suburbia. To see the despair, the pain, the hatred brought on by life circumstances...it made me wonder "what am I doing to help?"
There are so many people hurting. So many that don't have anywhere to turn. So many that are just struggling to survive.
I'm not saying that my hour today has turned me into the next Mother Theresa. That is not my calling in life. Nor is politics or protests. I respect those who embrace that calling.
I'm not sure how I'm supposed to help change the world.
But, I'm grateful for the opportunity today to step outside of my comfort zone, to leave my bubble, to see a small part of the world through different eyes.
In the meantime, I pray. Because I don't know what else to do. And I believe in the power of prayer.