Targeted bombs in the mail and two racial-fueled shootings happened in less than a week. “A popularization of polarization” seems an appropriate description of what’s happening in our country. As we grieve the recent loss, where are you finding hope for our future?
It’s not a rhetorical question, either. My aim today is not to answer but to ask. There has obviously been a rumbling under the surface for years now. It seems like the temperature is rising, and we are seeing a boiling point of sorts.
I do acknowledge many of the stories that make headlines are extreme cases, outliers, those on the fringes. But nevertheless, the fringe cases just show more pronounced symptoms of the same sickness.
I’ve written about the idea of “us and them” quite a bit over the last few years, and with the opposing sides seeming to grow further apart I think we need to make a concerted effort to appreciate what we share. “The image of God in me greets the image of God in you” remains a posture that helps me squash hate, judgment, and prejudice within me.
I hesitated to write about this today, because I try to stay in my own lane. I’m not a political writer. I’m not well-versed in so many of the disciplines required to be an expert in this field. I believe, though, we each have our hand on the pulse of what’s happening in our nation in a unique way.
The answer is not one person, party, or policy. I know that much. It’s too easy to elevate a leader to superhero status, meanwhile ignoring the glaring faults and baggage that leader brings to the table. Charisma and the appearance of strength is not enough.
It’s certainly not just one of two groups that has the solution either. Democrats have good ideas. Republicans have good ideas. Neither has God on their side or the cure for all that’s wrong. What both sides have are people who need to cross the divide.
What is it then? What will it take?
Again, I don’t have the answer, but I’m ready to have the conversation. A friend suggested a YouTube channel recently called Middle Ground. It brings together what we would call opposing sides to facilitate conversation in a unique, creative way.
It’s a format that highlights what can be agreed on and provides a safe space to understand the points of disagreement. Topics range all across the board. As a follow-up to today’s post, I highly encourage you to pick one or two conversations. It’s a great reminder that on both sides there are always humans.