My husband and I had a disagreement on the way to church today over a certain Christmas gift. With each of us standing our ground from two very different perspectives, we entered the doors to worship and fellowship. Both of us left convicted by the Word of God. On the way home, one of us apologized. We’ve agreed to disagree.
Our debate drew my thoughts back to a conversation I witnessed on Twitter over the past couple of days. A “cyber-friend”, a woman I respect who is not shy about sharing her life and her values with the world, was both praised and vilified in a string of tweeted responses to this statement:
“It’s not political but biblical to stand & say it is indefensible, incomprehensible, reprehensible & completely unacceptable to profanely disdain countries of People of Color, but entertain welcoming people of blond hair. Demonizing people is the 1st step to justifying anything.”
Ann Voskamp is a Canadian blogger and a New York Times best-selling author. She lives on a farm in rural Ontario with her husband and seven children. She is a Christian, a humanitarian and a gentle-handed activist who often speaks to issues. In this case, she was referencing Donald Trump’s alleged statements in a closed-door meeting about people from “sh*thole countries” coming into the United States, suggesting “the U.S. should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway.” (I won’t link to sources here. If you’ve been on the Internet or turned on your television or radio, you know what I’m talking about.)
The conversation has gone on for two days. While the author of those words stepped in a couple of times to attempt to bring clarity and defense to her statement, for the most part she has let her words stand. I doubt she’s been swayed by those saying a Canadian has no right to an opinion or that as a Christian author she should just shut up or she’s stupid to believe “fake news”.
Instead, I hope that Ann has bundled herself for a Sunday walk in the wintry landscape of her corner of the world. I pray she’s taken a long look at the youngest of her brood, a precious adopted daughter with slanted eyes, yellow skin and a heart that needed a surgeon’s attention. I believe she’s opened her Bible, worshiped with her neighbors, prayed with her husband and weighed the impact her boldness might have on her family and on her popularity.
I doubt she cares much about the latter, but a whole lot about the former. Because I’m pretty sure she made her bold statement so that she can look her children in the eye and say “I want to give you a better world.”
I’m not an activist, but I have a very personal perspective on all that is wrong in our world. I also cheer loudly for all that is right. I view the world through the eyes of a mother, a woman, a Christian and a responsible citizen. Like you, I care.
If I had the platform the Lord has given Ann Voskamp, I hope that I would dare to speak the truth as I know it and have the conviction to stand by it.
I’m doing that today by repeating Ann’s words::“Demonizing people is the first step to justifying anything.”
I took a walk in the snow this afternoon because I needed to process some hard things, and to fill my eyes and mind with beauty.