We are in a period of our history where many are demanding change. The cry is for something better than what is. The situation we find ourselves in must become something different. We may not be sure what we should do. Yet, the need to do something is overwhelming.
One might expect that our desires for change would suggest that individually we would be willing to act, respond, and even think in ways that vary from yesterday. This might be a reasonable assumption, however it does not reflect the behavior of many in our communities. We appear to hope that if we behave the same way as we have in the past that somehow, magically, the outcome will be different. Our approach to discussions mirrors the behavior we have grown comfortable with. Those that have felt ignored and abused are determined are still trying to make sure their voices are heard and valued. Nothing has changed except our words.
It is ironic that God appears to be more flexible than we are. “Up to the time of Samuel the prophet, God provided judges to lead them. But then they [Israel] asked for a king, and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, out of the tribe of Benjamin.” (Acts 13.20) Even today, God responds to the cry of our hearts. Compassion comes in many forms. Mercy can take many faces. Love is found in harsh environments as well as comfortable ones.
Perhaps it is time that we leave our anger and frustrations aside. If we are willing to listen with the intent of learning, dialogue will be born. If we model the right behavior, others will see truth emerge. If we embrace those who disagree with us, there is a chance that we will find trust.
Transitions require courage. They also require a fresh approach, new methods, and respect. The opportunity for change is here. How we respond to the moment at hand will determine if our desire for change becomes anything more than words. The future for our communities starts within your heart and mine.