Let’s Meet in the Middle

I can’t believe it. Finally. I am writing my first blog post ever.

In anticipation of this day, topics have been dancing in my head. What would my first blog topic be? I was completely undecided. That is, until the website went live. In a moment of swift clarity, I immediately knew what my first blog post would be. I would present the purpose for which I am blogging, then dedicate this space to God with a prayer.

Why do I want to blog? My simplest answer is to make room for God in cyberspace. In a crowded world with voices clamoring…with freedom of speech still a precious human right…I want to lend my voice in a way that gives God a platform with which He can do what He wants. That’s all.

You see, I have been observing something in my own life and in the lives of others around me. When confronted with sensitive issues–whether social or spiritual–it is common to respond in one of two extremes. Some of us lean toward silence. Not wise silence, but the kind that screams, “I am not touching that topic with a ten foot pole.” Others lean toward what I call, “spit and venom.” They speak up, but with such emotion and anger that further discussion is improbable.

I long for that middle ground where we exercise our freedom of speech through sincere, respectful conversation that doesn’t demand that anyone has to change their mind in order for the other person to be happy or stay in the relationship.

Personally, I have a natural lean toward silence, and quite frankly I am tired of it. At this point in my life I want to cast off the fear of what people think and be found guilty of talking about issues while treating people with respect and kindness as I speak (or write). Some may not like me talking. That’s okay. If someone isn’t going to like me, I would rather it be because I am conversing with sincerity and kindness instead of being fearfully silent or belligerently rude.

I have been reading some brave books this summer, really brave books about social issues that are intense and sensitive. I have read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristif and Sheryl WuDunn. I devoured every word about the oppression of women around the globe and turning oppression into opportunity. I read the last page incredibly grateful for the authors choosing to talk about extreme issues with careful research and honesty. No spit and venom to be found. In addition, I read some books from a Biblical worldview by authors also opting for talking instead of silence or anger. The authors are gentle. I know because I have heard them interviewed. When you are reading black and white print, it is easy to attribute any number of tones and intonations to the ink. But when you hear someone speak, then you hear that person’s heart. I have read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi and Same-Sex Marriage by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet. The authors of both books have my respect for choosing to talk about issues in a respectful manner. Hurray! As a society, we need to have conversations about a long list of topics such as the responsible use of technology, balancing our freedom of speech with ethics, religious freedom, gender equality, racial discrimination, the ever-changing landscape of marriage and family, oppression of women and quality of education. The list goes on. Staying silent and communicating in anger will not solve a single problem we have. Talking, on the other hand, may lead to progress. Maybe it won’t, but talking is the only way we have a shot at figuring things out together. What happened to freedom of speech exercised with respect?

So it’s time to dedicate this space to God. I am just a normal lady who wants to be found conversing. I want to like and love people. I want to be brave. I want to be involved. I want to be found trying. I want to move from silence to the middle, where politeness and respect reside.

Lord, this space is yours. I don’t know what You are going to choose to do with this website, blog or my book (Your book) when it comes out later this year. All of it is yours. ‘Cause Lord, I want to be found trying. If I am silent, You have no room through me. If I am angry and rude, You have no room through me. Talking through this blog and website gives You room. My book will give You room. Now do with it all what you wish.

Love, Laurie

© 2014 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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