Words are important. Sacred. Holy. In music, poems, books, spoken word, Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds.. presidential elections. Words mean something. They can show the truest parts of our soul. You can go a multitude of ways with your words. You can fuel hate and division. You can promote peace and understanding. You can advocate. You can show love. You can be vindictive. You can be passive. You can be aggressive. You can abuse. You can heal. Whatever way you use your words you can’t say that they didn’t mean something. You can’t say they didn’t effect somebody.
So often these days I’ve been reading “They’re just words..” and I recoil. I immediately feel sorrow. Just words. No. There is no such thing. In light of our election of Donald Trump, Christian supporters of his are saying “They were just words.” How is that possible? “Just words” have stoked hate. “Just words” have caused fear. “Just words” have caused hate crimes to spike. The election of Trump has emboldened white supremacists. This is not okay. The words have caused action. The words have caused pain. You can’t just sweep his tweets, rallies, etc under the rug. He is bringing them with him to the White House. That is a sobering, sobering thing.
Christians. Yes. There is peace in Christ. I get that. I do. Because I have peace in his grace and mercy. However I am hurting for my family and friends and neighbors right now. To tell those that have been/are being targeted “Do not fear”. To tell those that are hurting not to worry because “God is on the Throne”. Well those words are simply the biggest Christian cop-out you can use. I would suggest you instead: Stand in solidarity. Use your words to work to knowing what they feel. Weep with those who weep. Carry their burdens. Open up your heart so you can feel their pain. You might not understand it, because probably you come from a place of privilege as an American Christian- a white and straight one most likely. But if you let yourself to be open and allow the pain of someone you don’t understand, you are being Christ to them. Your words matter, like your actions. The world is watching how the church will respond. What are we going to show them? How are we going to speak to this world?
I’d wager that right now our witness isn’t so great. I’d go as far to say that it looks like Christians are supportive of white supremacy and inhumane treatment of fellow image bearers, or at least find it acceptable (which feels like the same thing).