I have personally witnessed what the vast majority of people will never experience.
A couple of days ago, I had someone send me a tweet that was not a follower of mine, and I was not a follower of hers. I do not remember the first question she asked me, but after looking at her profile, I simply responded that it seemed as though we agree on very little in our beliefs and views of life, so debating the issue would simply be a waste of both of our time.
I did not mean it disrespectfully. I am just a very busy person. I am a wife and mom of five, so I have responsibilities throughout the day that demand my attention. When I am online, I want to unwind. It is what I guess you would call one of my few "outlets". While I do have friends in the real world, very few of them are fascinated by politics and the things going on in the world as I and my husband are, so Twitter is my forum to be involved and vent and discuss things that are important to me.
The next day, this very same lady tweeted me again, in response to another tweet I had sent out. I must admit, I was very....hmmmmm..... well, a mixture of things, I guess. I was on guard, but also a bit leery, because the last thing in the world I want to do is argue. My husband LOVES to debate with people, but that is not my forte. I know what I believe, I will stand up for what I believe, but I am not going to try to force you to see things my way. Basically, I try to be the way God Is (please, please, please do not misunderstand- I am by no means saying I have it all figured out! It's just that this is what works better for my personality, I guess). What I mean by that is God presents Truth to us. He does not force us to believe in Him, accept His gift of Salvation, or live for Him. He has given each of us free will. That is the way I see life. I know Truth. I will ALWAYS speak Truth, stand up for Truth, and do my best every day to live in Truth. But I cannot and will not try to force someone to accept my views, beliefs, ideas or feelings. Each person is free to feel, believe, and live as they choose.
In addition to being on guard, again, I must say, that there was a bit of dread in me. I love getting to know new people, but I am not going to allow anyone to bully me or pick a fight with me because I disagree with them. I have seen it too many times in real life, and online. As a child, I was picked on and bullied. As an adult, I have discovered who I am. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I am not afraid to admit the areas I am weak in, just as I am not afraid to stand in my Strength.
At one point during our conversation, I told her she was the one that sought me out to argue, that is not at all what I was looking for. Her response took me by surprise. She told me she was not seeking me out to pick an argument, she genuinely did not understand how I could view things the way I did.
As we continued to talk, it became apparent that she had misunderstood something I had said. I clarified it, and went on to explain further. During the conversation, we came to a point where we realized that we didn't see things so differently after all. Oh yes, there are things that we will disagree on. But hey, I disagree with my husband on a lot of things. None of us are going to see things exactly the same way on anything.
This situation has proven to me that ALL things ARE INDEED possible! From the very little I know about this lady to this point, she is a Liberal. I am a Conservative. While I have been friends with Liberals before, and have actually been able to discuss our different views civilly previously, the atmosphere where politics is concerned is quite different. Jesus says in Luke 18:27, :.. What is impossible with men is possible with God." I believe this, because I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. But this week, I saw it lived out in my own life. I believe that all things happen for a reason. Who knows what the reason this happened is? I may never know. But there is a reason- of this I have no doubt!
You've probably heard the saying that you don't ever discuss politics and religion with other people, because it can split the best of relationships. I have actually seen that happen.
But this experience with my new friend (we have since added each other as mutual followers on Twitter) has shown me that being able to discuss our differences is still possible. We have to each be willing to step back and see things from a different view.
For me, while I am more than willing to step back and see someone else's view, the old cliche' of politics and religion are too intertwined for me to separate. I actually do not like to use that word- religion- because as I often tell people, there is a HUGE difference between "religion" and "relationship".
My political views are so intertwined with my RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ that you will not ever be able to convince me that there is another truth. Jesus Christ IS Truth. Plain and simple. He says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) Jesus Christ IS my Way. He IS my Truth. He IS my Life. He IS my Strength. He IS my Rock. He IS my Salvation. He IS my Lord. He IS my God.
There was a time where I did not understand that there is indeed a difference in religion and relationship. I want no part of religion. In fact, I tell people I am one of the least religious people you will ever know. Religion is man made. Relationship is living and loving in The Light of the World- Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. I make many, many mistakes every day. But I know that my relationship with Jesus Christ is what gives me the peace that truly passes all understanding. I've had more than one tragic event happen to me in my life. Many people have questioned how I can have the outlook I have on life, with all that I have been through. The ONLY answer to this is Jesus. Until I understood that God is not this "mean man in the sky", but instead, He is my loving Creator- my Heavenly Father who loves me so much that He provided a way of Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ- I was a miserable person. I tried religion. I want no part of it. Just give me Jesus!
Up until about 3 years or so ago I was not interested in politics at all. I had more important things to occupy my time with than worrying about politics. I was complacent, just the same as so many people in this country were, and many still are to this day. I am no longer complacent. I see my freedoms being threatened every day, and I am not willing to stick my head in the sand and allow the government and politicians slowly erode my freedoms. I want my children and grandchildren to know the freedom that I grew up with.
If everyone would take a step back and truly try to see things from someone else's perspective rather than ridiculing them because they see things differently, this world would be a different place. This goes for Liberals, Conservatives and those who don't care about politics at all.
It is my prayer that God will use my new friend and I as an example. I am sure we still disagree on many, many things! In fact, we probably disagree on almost everything. I just hope that our differences will not get in the way of a new friendship, where both of us may learn a lot from the other person!
I truly pray that this country will unite, in spite of our differences! My new friend said she thought that all people on the right believed a certain way about a topic we were discussing, yet, after I explained to her my view, I think she sees that it is not that way at all. Now, I am sure there are people out there on the right that are the way she thought, just as I am sure there are people out there that are on the left that are the way I view most liberals. However, if those of us with COMMON SENSE- both on the Right AND the Left- would distance ourselves from the radicals and stand together and speak rationally, I believe we could accomplish a great many things as a nation- even in our many differences!
I continue to pray today for Congresswoman Giffords. She is in rehab in Houston now. I know her battle to recovery is not over- in fact, in many ways, it is probably just beginning. I pray for her husband Mark Kelly. I pray that God will give him the strength to get through this. As husband and wife they are a team. He is her strength right now. I pray that Mr. Kelly will turn to God and lean on Him for strength.
I pray for this country. We truly are blessed beyond measure. I pray that more people will put aside their differences and unite. I still believe the only way our nation is ever going to heal is if we come together, humble ourselves in prayer, repent for our wrongs as a nation, so that God WILL heal our land! I will continue to pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ- Amen.