- Stacey Darling
Dear Brothers and Sisters
One year ago today, I shared this open letter to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I still feel the same today as I did when I posted this one year ago. Probably even more so. Every single day I am greatly saddened by the things that are happening around me. It makes me feel powerless and often hopeless. The only weapon I have is my one small voice that probably won’t get heard by many but maybe it will reach at least one person who needs encouragement, support, love or guidance. To that one person, you are loved.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I'm disappointed and heartbroken. But let me be clear, not because of how you voted or your political beliefs.
My heartbreak started before this election cycle began but has increased as I've watched and listened to some of my Christian mentors and brothers and sisters in Christ during this past year.
I have found myself having to pray for forgiveness from the Lord and ask Him for direction as I've felt conflicted about how I'm feeling about my own Christian "family," those that are my brothers and sisters through salvation.
His answer is always the same, "Love them" and "Show them how to love."
I'm a child of God but I'm no longer a child. Now I have children who look to me for guidance and direction and it's time for me to show them the way.
Because we call ourselves Christians and we are considered brothers and sisters in Christ, we represent each other and people are always watching us. They are always listening to what we have to say. They are reading what we post on social media. They are paying attention to what we "Like," comment on and share on social media. Most importantly, they are always observing the way we treat others.
I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Liberal. I'm not a Conservative.
I'm a child of God.
The laws that I follow, you won't find in any law books. The laws of love are found highlighted and underlined in my Bible. This is the law that I abide by.
The laws of love are clear and simple, "Love one another, just I have loved you."
The love that Jesus demonstrated when He walked with men is how we were meant to love.
Jesus loved His followers, yes, but He loved and sought out to love those that were unbelievers, suffering, sick, poor, sinners and outcasts. This is how He loves. This is who He loves. This is how we are commanded to love.
This is the way that Christians demonstrate who God is - how we love.
When we judge others, when we crucify others, when we isolate, oppress, abuse or neglect others we are not demonstrating God's love.
When others are in need, we give. When others are hurting, we heal. When others are afraid, we protect. When others are unloved, we love. When others don't have a voice, we stand up. When others are weak, we are strong.
The Lord commands us to be this way for all, including in the face of our enemies. Especially in a time like this, we need to get on our knees and pray for guidance, for courage, for direction and ask Him to teach us how to love like Him.
I'm not worried about the economy. I'm not worried about health care. I'm not worried about education.
I'm worried about the people who need us to love and protect them. I'm worried about my brothers and sisters who confuse worldly ways with Biblical ways. I'm worried about the way we label people and treat them differently, love them differently or decide not to love them at all.
I'm worried that we have forgotten what we were placed here to do and that is continue the work that Jesus did.
I care about people. I care about people who think differently than I do. I care about people who look differently than I do. I care about people who worship a different God than I do or don't worship a God at all. I care about people who weren't born in America. I care about people who don't have a visa. I care about people who sin differently than I do. I care about people who love differently than I do. I care about people who live differently than I do. I care about people.
Most people that know me or even people who don't but maybe have quickly scanned my profile, probably have come to conclusion that I am a Christian. I share Bible verses, worship songs and sermons. I "Like" stories and videos that demonstrate a love of people or animals.
I don't however, always share my truth, what I feel deep in my spirit.
I'm a sensitive woman. I feel things deeply and intensely. My heart gets broken easily. I don't like conflict or controversy because I'm not the warrior I wish I was. I'm afraid sometimes to speak up. I'm afraid of what people might say. I'm afraid of what people might do.
I'm afraid now as I write this and even more so when I think about sharing.
But the Lord put something in my spirit this morning.
My husband and I love the Lord. We believe that the Lord has a special purpose for us here. He often leads us to help others, to share the gospel with others or to step out in faith.
When the Lord asks us to do something we do it. We have never once hesitated because the person or persons that the Lord was directing us to help wasn't a believer, voted a certain way, didn't have a visa, couldn't speak the language, used drugs, had an abortion, or was married to the same sex.
Everyone He has asked us to love and lift up has been a person who is in need and so we have helped them, we have loved them and we have lifted them up. By loving others in this way, we have demonstrated God's love. We have shown people who God truly is.
I'm humbled that the Lord uses us in this way. I'm humbled that He has given me this heart that loves without boundaries or judgment.
When we stand before the Lord on judgment day, He is not going to ask us about our political beliefs, our professional or educational accomplishments, what church we attended and how often, our salary history or how much we donated to charity.
He will ask us, "How did you love?" "Child of God, how did you demonstrate my love?"
What I want is to stand before Him and hear Him say, "My child, I am proud of you. I am proud of the way you loved."