I had two separate requests today asking me what my thoughts were on articles having to do with the social issues we deal with today. One of the articles had to do with racism, the other dealt with our patriarchal society.
I’ve read articles from conservative and liberal outlets and I won’t begin to pretend to be anywhere close to the level of intelligence of those who work in these fields. At this stage, I’ll let the intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals and pundits argue at that level because…well, I guess they get paid a lot of money to do what they do and I won’t begrudge them their chosen profession. As for me, I don’t care about any of that. But there is something I do care about.
As I reflected on my friends’ questions, I thought about a Bible story of this woman caught in adultery and brought to Jesus. While the men all argued about what to do with her, Jesus just sat down and drew in the sand. It’s as if he just said, “Oy vey! I’m tired of listening to these guys.” It also made me think about something Donald Miller once said. He wrote:
“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and there are some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care.”
Just substitute the issue of the existence of God with racism or patriarchy or LGBTQ issues or whatever else people are fighting about these days in Don’s statement, and you’ve pretty much landed on what I think about it all. It isn’t that I don’t care about those things. I just don’t care about all the yelling back and forth by people trying to get an upper hand over the other side. It occurs to me that those exchanges don’t do anything to solve the problem. So here’s what I care about.
What I care about is how can I, Rey Lopez — a regular guy, divorced father of two, freelance writer, actor, ride share driver, Realtor-in-training, and nomad, who acknowledges his own inherent biases — show love to the people around me and advocate they be treated with the utmost respect in all of their endeavors, whether personal or professional? Also, how can I do that in a way that models for others to do the same?
I’m not trying to evade any issues or come across as above the fray. I’ve just grown incredibly weary of the endless debates that bring us back to the same place. My brain (and my heart) hurt over it all.
I’ve been doing a lot of meditating, reading, and listening to people like Richard Rohr, Vishnu Das, Hillary McBride, and others, and rediscovering a more Contemplative approach to my spirituality (which is what I grew up with in 70s era Catholicism). I’m learning it allows me to live out a pattern that speaks far more loudly than anything else I could say or write. I am venturing down a path where I will simply refuse to contribute to anything that does not advance a love for the people that cross my path; a reckless, inclusive, liberal, gracious, unconditional love.
That’s what I think about all that.