I’ve never considered myself a full blown advocate for many things. I am a feminist (but not too feminist), I was a vegetarian (but not a vegan), I have morals (but I’m not stuffy), and embarrassingly, I’m a Christian (but sometimes not a very good one).
However there is something I have discovered about myself lately. That being, that I am an advocate for mercy, tolerance, patience, and love. I never knew this about myself until recently, but a series of events in my life has pushed me to the brink of frustration. I say this in no way to be proud (or maybe I am, it’s possible), but I find the lack of the above others show to be so unfortunate.
I am blessed to be born into a family which has taught me (granted, never perfectly), how to be tolerant of others. My mother especially is a prime role model. People would always tell me how sweet my mother is, and how when she was my age everyone just loved her. It’s wonderful to hear, but I’m starting to see one reason why. She had it. She gave it. It, being tolerance, mercy, patience and love. She learned how to love by using tolerance as amo, and she forgives so fully.
I understand particular situations where it can be almost impossible to love someone. Take Elisabeth Elliot
for example. Her husband was murdered by tribes-men with whom they were trying to share the gospel with. No way in the world would I be able to do what she did, which was move to their community to live amongst her husbands killers. But I’m thinking that some of the strength she carried with her, that was step one to loving those who killed her husband, was a level of tolerance. She was tolerant of their sinfulness as human beings, and showed them grace.
As I sit in a University full of privilege, honor, wealth and opulence which would make many people in the world very pleased, I see something, which in my opinion, is upsetting. Many people do not want to give of themselves and all that they have, and moreover, do not feel that it is even in their ability to give and share tolerance, mercy, grace, and the like. I don’t know how many times I have heard people complain, bad mouth, harass, or shun another for no particular reason other than they…rubbed them the wrong way. The shunned did something wrong, in their eyes; something which they would not forget.
Let’s see some examples. Those single things or “wrong doings” which are the be all end all for some. Sadly.
– Accidentally pushing someone’s shoulder while walking past them.
– Standing too long in a doorway.
– The bus driver showing up late.
– The cashier gives short change.
– Parking too close to their driveway.
Things like this happen and that’s it. No mercy. End of story.
I have become so aware of this happening that I need to be careful with how I go about handling my actions from here on out. And I must be careful not to judge even those who are intolerant so much so that I could not be tolerant to them in the end.
Reading my bible I have learned a lot about Jesus, who encapsulates a perfect being. I am definitely not that. But the most amazing thing is that God gives his grace to us no matter what we do. Isn’t that amazing?!