Maybe We Just Need Skinnier Markers

catalyst bokeh

 

Did you enjoy coloring as a kid?

I absolutely loved it.

Here’s my confession: even though my job title has the word “arts” in it, even as I advocate for creativity and passion within churches and schools, even as we push our kids always to search for the creative answer to solve any problem…guess what…I stink at drawing. Seriously, not an artistic bone in my body in that respect.

Crayola-Broad-Line-Washable-Markers-Pack-of-8-P14819543

But I LOVE to color. Also, I’m lazy.

So as a kid, anytime I was given the option of which crayon or marker to color with…I always chose the big, fat, fattie ones. You know the type. Broad line, easy to use, less work. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

Trouble is…I don’t think our desire for broad categories and easy identifiers and less work ended in childhood.

There are seriously days in which I’m about ready to give up social media. It seems like many in my life have been stricken with a disease that renders them unable to identify any subtle nuances in the world around them. Everything is labeled good or bad, and then I fire off my 140 character rant about it…or even better if I can find it in a 10 word meme.

One lunatic with a video blog gets upset about red cups at a coffee shop, and every Christian is an insecure hypocrite. A few groups of extremists carry out some unfathomable acts of terror, and suddenly every person with a worldview different than yours ought to be locked up in a camp. Somebody has a few political views that differ from yours? Then by all means, they can’t possibly lead our nation.

skinny markers

 

Maybe we just need skinnier markers.

You know, like the cool guys wear their jeans. (haha, okay, I couldn’t resist given the mockery I take daily for my choice in jean fit)

But seriously, maybe it’s time for us to embrace the nuances of life.

Maybe it’s less about filling in the big spaces with color and more about appreciating the details of the contours. 

Maybe if we listened more than we spoke, we might learn something.

Been painting with a broad brush lately? Fine. But take some time to listen today.

Been largely unaware that there’s a big world out there filled with beauty that may not necessarily fit into your pre-determined categories? Okay, ask some questions, and see if your perspective grows.

And if you’ve been the recipient of unfair characterizations, then it’s time to step up. People make assumptions by what they see. If you want them to see better in you, then start showing it today.

There is no greater example of the best of what you represent than your life fully devoted to it.

Advertisements

A Culture of Extremes

ChicagoCityNo, this isn’t a post about the song “More Than Words.” Although, that might be fun.

If I did write about it, I would definitely reference the Jimmy Fallon & Jack Black version of the song.

Okay, I digress.

Listen, I’ll be the first to admit my naïveté. I’m sure I don’t get every side of an issue, and we certainly live in a world of nuances.

That being said, it’s been interesting to watch our recent news cycles over the last couple of weeks.

Last week, a lot of people freaked out over a couple of videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers discussing the sale of embryonic tissue. It turned out that the videos were gathered somewhat dishonestly and edited in really dishonest ways. And the selling wasn’t even technically illegal or done for financial gain…it’s actually legally allowable for research.

But at the end of the day, people were still pretty incredulous about the cavalier discussion of ending a life and selling off the parts. I understand, because I’m one of those people. Heck, even Hillary Clinton called the videos “disturbing.”

And then this week, a whole new group of people have lost their minds over a dentist who lured a lion out of its protected area and killed it.

Now, I understand…anyone who has linked these two news stories has been absolutely skewered. Just ask Marco Rubio. So I’m walking in dangerous territory here.

However, the reaction on both sides has been somewhat interesting for me to observe. One group goes nuts over what they believe to be the senseless killing of a life. Another group believes it’s just about choice and medical research. Then the group that believed science is science when it came to human life has gone crazy when an animal was unfairly harmed. While the group who so ardently defended human life doesn’t seem to care about other life in God’s creation.

Hmmmmmmm.

Again, I’m sure life is easier through my simple, naive lenses…but what if we were just about life? Like…we cared about life WHEREVER we found it. And we came to the defense of life.

What if we fought to protect babies? And what if black lives mattered? And what if cop lives mattered?

And what if we asked some tough questions about the death penalty in the hopes that hearts actually could change over time? And what if we thought long and hard about military efforts around the world to try to preserve as much innocent human life as possible?

And what if we cared passionately about education, because it means more life tomorrow?

I know every issue is multi-faceted. And we won’t save the world through a few opinionated blogs.

But if I’m going to be accused of getting it wrong…I wanna get it wrong in my quest to defend life.

[Oh, and if you’re beyond stressed about all of these issues, and you just need 5 minutes to breathe and chuckle in the midst of all of the craziness, be sure to enjoy this fun little satire post.]