There are those that believe words are enough. As long as I say the right thing, I am ok. When I stand up for others with rhetoric and words, this is what I need to do. My position on the issues is critical; actions are mere frosting. They do not change the substance of the cake. To those that put these ideas in our minds, I say rubbish! Nothing could be further from the truth. Words are only meaningful when they are followed up by actions. Beliefs only find reality in our choices and decisions. Values and priorities of the heart are real when they find themselves reflected in the steps of our daily walk.
There is a risk when one decides to go beyond mere words. One may be rejected, even ostracized. One may be ridiculed, even ignored. One may be pushed and shoved, away from the community and the friendships one needs in order to grow.
Even beyond this risk is the simple reality that our actions may be well intended but still fail. We could make fools of ourselves! We may look like idiots. We can come across as na?ve simpletons. Compassion is only seen as a weak response. Mercy is frequently considered the tool of those lacking courage. Acceptance carries the uncertainty of diversity. Yet, I find truly courageous individuals exercising compassion. I see the strong offering mercy instead of justice. I experience wonder and awe when acceptance takes priority over fear.
A strong man caught in the moment of action, in response to a beggar's cry, “grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up.” (Acts 3.7) Should our response to the community around us today be any different? Our aspirations can reach this high! Hope can be our strength and gift. Love can be our armor. Knowing with our hearts that we are God's children is the foundation for relentless action.
Today starts with an opportunity to turn. We can turn into God's arms. We can shift form old frames to new ways of living. The opportunity is here.
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