Thursday, November 10, 2016

Please Listen!

Matthew 26:36-46New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Garden of Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus *came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and *said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He *said to them, My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He *came to the disciples and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, [a]Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Whenever a person gets angry, regardless of age, I get nervous and uncomfortable. I become fearful that the angry person will become violent because I have seen anger turn into violence. This is a feature of my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). My tendency is to get them to calm down by getting them to be quiet. The problem with that is it dismisses what they are feeling and sends a silent message that their current life experience has no value. As a chaplain I know and have been taught that I need to allow space for someone to feel their emotions, however they manifest. The most powerful thing I can do for that person is to listen. In listening I validate them and their life experiences and they feel heard, and subsequently they calm down on their own.

Right now, more than ever, we need listeners in America. As of today Donald J. Trump is our President Elect despite the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton won the popular vote.

Popular Vote
Clinton - 59,861,516
Trumo - 59,639,462

Electoral Vote
Clinton - 232
Trump - 306
This data was pulled from here.

I am not disputing the results and I accept the outcome as this is how the election system is set up. Why I point this out to you is to show you that Millions of people are not happy with the outcome of this election. These people have real concerns and fears about their personal lives and the future of our country. The last thing we need to do is to dimiss their feelings by telling them to 'calm down' and 'get over it', or 'just accept it.'

Latinos who are American citizens are afraid of being deported because of the color of their skin
Muslims who are American citizens are afraid to travel for fear they won't be let back into America, their country
Blacks are afriad that violence against them will escalate
Women are afraid they will continue to be victims of sexual assault
People with disabilities are afraid they won't be fully included in society
Women are also afraid that they will lose their right to make personal and private healthcare decisions with their doctors.
Children adopted from other countries are afraid they will be taken from their parents.
Children of color are afraid to go to school for fear of being bullied because of their skin color.
LGBTQ people are afraid they will lose their newly found freedoms and continue to face discrimination.

People have real fears and we need to listen to them and stop dismissing them and their life experiences.

If we want true unity in this country then we need to be uncomfortable and start listening to the different stories around us.

Matthew 21:12-13New International Version (NIV)

Jesus at the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buyingand selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[b]

You are proabably wondering why I included these two passages that center around Jesus. I include them to show that Jesus had feelings too. 
To my Christian readers, if you can accept these passages as part of your Saviors story then please give room for others to express their feelings as well.