When Hope Disappoints

social media wordsSuch a disappointment! As I scrolled through my Facebook posts, I saw the vitriol. Several people I respect had posted ugly words against the congresswomen dressed in white for the State of the Union address. Giant black X’s on their faces.

Those women were dressed in white to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. It was an important anniversary and a simple way to honor that vital addition to our constitution.

I am SO grateful for the years of protests, the marches and the hard work of these women. I honor Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and the scores of volunteers who were persecuted, harassed and even killed so that I can vote.

Yet because the majority of those women seated in the chamber were from a certain political party, these Facebook posters decided to attack them. No consideration for what they represented with their white outfits. Only personal assault.

Words have the power to bind up — but also to tear down.

Perhaps these people have forgotten that we will all give an account to God for every word spoken, including the words shared through cyberspace (Matthew 12:36).

Most of these Facebook “friends” fight for pro-life policies. And let me clarify before I receive any more hate mail — I, too, am pro-life. But I believe life includes the point of conception and expands until the moment of death.

People outside the womb are as important as babies inside. No one deserves to be X’d out.

How can someone claim to be pro-life yet try to destroy the living of someone else? Isn’t that the epitome of hypocrisy?

This is one reason why millennials are scared away from Christianity. They read the ugliness, the constant name-calling and cannot reconcile negative actions with positive beliefs.

Should we fight for our beliefs? Absolutely! But standing up for our values should not counteract how we speak. Voting for the policies we value does not have to include lambasting those who choose a different belief system. If we slander others, Romans 1:30 calls us to judgment.

I am already dreading the 2020 campaign season with its forecasted ugliness.

Because I am a published author, I need to be active on social media sites. The various places such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and this blog are where I connect with my readers and introduce my new books. I cannot just delete everything and leave.

But I am increasingly disgusted by what I read, posted by normally good people. Maybe it’s because cyberspace makes us feel invisible. We think we are somehow anonymous.

Venom always has a poisonous source. Verbal ugliness stems from prideful anger enveloped in a selfish heart.

I hope these people who have “liked” me will reconsider future posts — ask themselves if their words honor their Savior before they click “Share.”

So far, I see no change. And that causes hope to fade.

©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Check out my newest book, UPLOADING FAITH: What It Means to Believe. 

The Writer’s Good Luck Charm

Many writers have a special good luck charm that they keep in their offices or wear on their persons – anything to remind themselves to sit down and be a writer.

One greeting card writer wraps a winter scarf around his neck – even in the middle of July – to remind himself of the season he’s writing about.

Another writer has a special purple gel pen to use for book signings.

Some writers use specific chairs or make sure their desks face the rising sun. Most writers pepper their writing spaces with inspirational pictures or sayings, maybe even their special Bible verses.

During the cold, dark winters – I struggle with SAD – seasonal affective disorder. The grey skies of Kansas leak icy drizzle and once I am chilled, my bones don’t warm up until the spring thaw. I enjoy the first snow, but after that – I am ready to plant flowers and sit on a sun-warmed deck.

My creativity also suffers in the winter months, so I need my special good luck charm – especially during the months of January and February.

Mine is not a scarf nor a specific pen, but a ratty old coat that I bought about 25 years ago. It’s a dark purple color and fuzzy warm chenille-like nubs used to cover it. Many of those nubs wore off, but the coat still provides comfort. Since my office tends to be on the chilly side – that’s what happens in old houses – I need the coat not only for warmth but also to spur on the creative side of me.

With my coat on, I am Reverend G walking through the hallways of Cove Creek Assisted Living, sharing hope and encouragement with Bert, Roxie and Edith.

Underneath the frayed lining of my coat, I am a blogger who shares my heart, hoping that someone will find my words informative, encouraging and worth sharing with others.

With my old coat wrapped around me, I write a column for single moms and share my experiences with other single women who need just one word of hope.

writing in coatMy coat looks odd (see photo), and I never wear it in public (except one day when I absolutely had to make a dark chocolate run to Target). I forgot about the coat until I stood in line and noticed people staring at me. Poor thing, they probably thought, she only has that old coat to keep her warm in her old age.

Several times, I’ve wondered if I should give the coat away…but then, why? Nobody else would want it, while I find comfort wrapped in my personal good luck charm.

So I’ll keep wearing it, and I’ll keep typing out words, hoping that my creative juices will result in something good.

Wish me luck!