Ahhh, apparently that is the million-dollar question over these past couple weeks! As we read all over social media “your silence is compliance” and we feel the judgement that follows: in many ways it feels like a national bullying party and you are the poor kid who is at the end of the hit. I know for me, a Christian, this has left me in a very uncomfortable position. One that has sent me into study, research, prayer and discernment. #silenceisgolden
And now I will speak. But not because someone’s hashtag told me to or because a private message from someone who “cares” about me has pressured me into it. Certainly not because social media will label me as they please if I stay silent – nope. None of that is more important to me than God and what He has asked of me as His daughter and disciple. #donotbeafraid
My absence or silence on social media for the past week has been a blessing. It has allowed me to withdraw from the world and connect more closely with Heaven, with God. I am not of this world; I am merely in it. My true home is Heaven and all that I do and say here is part of my journey to my everlasting home. What I do here is important because what I do and say here communicates to God what I want, and where I would like to be – WITH Him or WITHOUT Him – for all of eternity. It reminds me of that saying YOLO, you only live once. True. But you live once for ALL OF ETERNITY, so I better try my best to get it right! I want God to know without a doubt that no matter what #ichooseHim
Some people are offended by my withdrawal from social media. Some people have issued threats on our relationships. Some people have made it perfectly clear that if we do not necessarily agree on what I should say and when I should say it that our relationships are over and even worse, they hope harm comes to me. My answer to them is this – I LOVE YOU. And my love for you is not conditional, regardless of what you do, say or believe. If and when you want my friendship again, please do not hesitate to come back to me – I will welcome you with open arms, no questions asked. It will be like you never left – you will always have my unconditional love. #lovelikejesus
I am choosing to speak right now because I want to share a few things that I feel are important.
Racism is evil. As a Christian, I denounce and reject all things that are evil. How I go about denouncing evil is my choice as well as my responsibility and I answer to God alone through His Holy Church. I discern what God desires of me, and I do my best to be an obedient child of the Father.
Black lives matter. Every single black person who has ever, is now and will ever exist carries the dignity in which God alone has bestowed on them and no one, no matter what they do or say, can take that away from them. With that being said, I do NOT align myself with the organization known as Black Lives Matter (BLM) as they do not hold the same Christian values as I do and even though we may be united in the goal of dignity for the lives of black and brown people – there are stark differences with what they believe and how they propose to achieve it and what I am called to live as a Christian.
ALL black lives matter. My Catholic faith has taught me the importance of the FULLNESS of things. God is the fullness. His love has no empty spaces, no missing parts. To that end, the absence of unborn black lives from this movement is something I cannot support. The fullness of this “movement” for the dignity of all black lives MUST include unborn black children. If your group or organization supports the killing of black unborn children, then I cannot be a part of it.
Defund the police? After spending years being homeless and in the welfare system as a young person and after more than 20 years working with low/no income families, I absolutely believe that reform; an absolute change should be made to all public service departments. The biggest job I have outside of street outreach is accompanying our families on the social services journey. I have also witnessed mistreatment of homeless on the streets by police officers, especially in regard to homeless women, regardless of color. Sexual crimes and harassment of women is real out there. I testify to it. Change needs to happen. The system is definitely flawed and needs major reform. How to do this? Last year, SOFESA, began researching a new care model for our mission in helping families. The first thing we realized is that change happens in healthy and trusting relationships. So first and foremost, the answer begins with RELATIONSHIP. And I believe that relationship is also the foundation to the issue of policing as well. I feel like there is a relationship between our current police force and local organizations who serve those in need that needs to be foundational. But, with this being said, I am in research mode right now. I am reading, listening, studying all sides of this issue. And I welcome you to email me studies, models, research on what you believe should happen. I want to read it all, I want to hear it all, I want to know it all because then I can process it and come to an educated result of where I stand on this issue. I am not there yet. Important issues need time, they deserve time to be properly discerned and evaluated.
I see color. A few years back I saw a billboard that said God does not see color, and it had a picture of people of all races and colors on it. I hated it. It was wrong. God not only sees color, He created color! Teaching our children to be “colorblind” is a lie. It goes against Truth. What needs to be taught is human dignity. Human dignity applies to all colors, all people. It represents the holiness and love of God in each and every single person. What we should teach is how beautiful all of these colors are and to love each and every single human person just as God loves us. God sees the beauty in all of the colors He has created us to be, now we need to see it too. #notcolorblind
Lower your expectations of me. I am a sinner. I have killed someone as well (RIP Esperanza). I will disappoint you. I will not meet all of your expectations. I will make mistakes. I am not perfect. But my desire to do what is right and good for every single human being I encounter is who I am. And when I fail at it, please know that I will get back up and try again with every ounce of my being. #iamnotmyfailuresormysins
Peace without Justice. Being a victim to child sexual abuse, as well as many other crimes, created in me a strong desire for justice. My anger demanded it. There was a time when in despair for not finding this justice I even attempted suicide, twice. My journey led me eventually to forgiveness, and I wanted to share with you one of the books that helped me along the way, A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing Injustice by Everett L. Worthington, Jr. There can be peace without justice. Not a single person who committed crimes against me was ever caught, none of them even so much as apologized. I never received “justice” from any of them - but I did find peace. I know that in our hearts, we cry out for justice, as it should be. But we should cry out to God, because Justice is His to give. He is the Lord of Justice. I hope that you do not believe that without justice you will be unable to find peace. That is just not true, and my life’s journey is a testament to that fact.
Lastly, I want to leave you with a prayer that was my father in law’s favorite (may he rest in peace). You probably have heard it before, some of you may be very familiar with it, but I feel very strongly that its words, its message should be heard right now, in this time we are in currently and I pray that in all that we try to do to fix our society’s problems, that these words are what encompasses each and every one of our hearts as we move forward in our efforts.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us! †