My alarm was set for 6:00am, but my body had other ideas. Wide awake at 5, I began perusing my phone, preparing for a bible study, checking emails, and scrolling through social media. You know—all the things. My feed consisted of the normal—kid posts, prayer posts, inspirational posts, funny posts, sports posts, selfie posts, etc. But this morning there were additional statuses I knew would appear—posts about the leadership of our country, posts about the State of the Union address, posts from people on both sides of an aisle divided by the most treacherous, jagged fault line.
There were applause. Lots of applause. And those applause that brought both sides to their feet were not due to the state of the union. They were due to the state of the heart. Police officers, service men and women, grieving parents, empathetic children, motivated students, supportive spouses, etc inspired a group of leaders who could barely exchange glances to rise up as one.
Regardless of whether you thought our government officials should have stood more or less, whether the people highlighted should have been more varied or diverse—put that to the side for a moment.
We, as a people, don't applaud the story itself—I think we've grown a bit cynical for that. However, when we're given a glimpse of a beating heart, a sacrificial soul of another being made of flesh of blood—we're moved.
Very few subjects that fall under the political and social agendas of our nation will encourage us to brave that jagged edge of reconciliation. We believe what we believe and that. is. it. We're right, you're wrong. Done.
Except we're not done.
It's impossible for us to be done. Why? Because you can hate an agenda. You can hate a stance. You can hate a piece of legislation. You can hate the result of a vote.
But can you hate a heart?
Not so easy.
When you take time to learn someone's story and peek behind the veil of cynical agenda, when you bend your ear to listen to words that express passion, when you peer into the eyes reflecting the soul of a person, you find that rare unicorn—common, rock solid ground.
Love. Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.
And that, my dear friends, inspires hope.
I'm examining my own heart today. Where am I? Am I loving God and loving others? Am I squinting past myself and seeing them? Hearing them?
I pray so.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.