Friday, October 14, 2016

"It's Just Words"

"It's just words, folks, just words..."

That was the defense. Mere words. Nothing more, and then with the next breath, the resounding cry, "Believe me! Believe me!" But aren't they words, too?

Which words to believe? Which words we heard are we to believe?

Words mean things.

They do. I am a believer in words. I have staked my life on words. I was an English teacher. Just words. I am a preacher. Just words. Words mean things.

What we think, shapes our words. What we say, shapes our actions. What we do, is who we are. Where do we draw the line on this slippery slope? Where does it end. When does the Believe Me turn on, and when does this Just Words turn on? How can anyone tell the difference?

When I hear that it is "Just words" I take seriously the visceral reaction I feel. I have to. My gut feels like it is socked. I cannot give a pass, not on this.

The words I hear sound like an echo of Germany in the Thirties, or Italy, or Spain. Only I can save you. Only I can lead the way. Only I am looking out for your interest. Only I...

But those are Just Words, too. So many words, supposedly The Best Words, All The Words. But if they are Just Words, does anything matter. I feel like half the country has gone insane, and the feeling is mutual from the other side.

I have friends who cannot envision voting where I am leaning, and I cannot imagine going down the path they are choosing. I, like so many, am desperate for change. But not at any cost. I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. One candidate may be more of the status quo, and many argue voting the lesser of two evils. However, the devil I know is better than the one I do not. Untested, untried, no substantive policies other than Believe Me is terrifying. For me there is no choice.

But as I write these words, just my words, I have to attempt to hope that there is a underlying hope in the American people. Things can be better, and I trust they will be. One of the oldest questions, at least to according to the Bible, is "Am I my brother's [and sister's] keeper?" Do I have a stake in caring for them? I believe that we do. This does not come from building walls, kicking them out, or extreme vetting (which I see as code for legal walls instead of physical, condemning a process already being done).

At the end of the day, I have to believe in our better selves, where we choose love over hate, hope over fear. I choose to be my brothers' and sisters' keeper, and I choose for them to be mine. We are all in this together, I believe for the better, not the worst. God be with us in these days where darkness is being preached instead of light. I have to believe that these words will not echo, and will fall on increasingly deafened ears. This American experiment has come too far to think otherwise.

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Blessings, Rock