Tag: reconciliation (page 1 of 3)

3 Questions to Ask Before You Post on Social Media

Recently, a friend of mine was waiting in her van to pick up her son at soccer practice, like you do when it’s summer, and you have kids and 99% of your time is spent shuttling kids to activities.

She idled there with the car running, two littles napping in the back seat, when suddenly she was startled by someone pounding on her window.  She had accidentally pulled partially into one of three handicapped spaces, waiting for her son to come to the car.  A mother with a handicapped child at home, didn’t approach her to question for better understanding, or respectfully point out her mistake, but instead, pounded and yelled repeatedly for her to move.

The offended mother then took a picture of my friend’s car with the license plate and posted it on Facebook, with publicly shaming remarks, a distortion of the situation, and no chance for explanation or apology. This escalated, with FB readers weighing in, suggesting all kinds of retribution against my friend who had made an innocent mistake.

So here’s what my friend did. After some investigation, she discovered the angry woman had a blog, so she read it all, trying to better understand her. She then wrote a letter of apology for her mistake, attaching some hydrangeas and a bag of peanut m&m’s (which she learned the woman liked from reading her blog), and dropped it in her mailbox.

The woman made it known she has no interest in talking with my friend, so that’s that, right?  I don’t think so. Who knows the pain this woman is carrying and how this small act of grace and peace-seeking may be a seed that will bear fruit in the future?

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

My friend’s experience is just one story – #ouch! Young, old, single, parent, retired… It doesn’t matter. Most of us navigate the mine field of social media on a daily basis. When we’re dinged we need to question for better understanding, and respond with grace. But what about our responsibility as posters?

What’s happened to civil discourse and respectful problem-solving?


Here are 3 additional questions we might ask before posting:  

  1. Is this helpful and constructive? Will this promote dialog and understanding, or am I lobbing a “hand-grenade”?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col. 4:6

2. Why do I want to post this? Is it coming from a place of hurt? need for attention? anger?

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23, 24

3. Would I feel comfortable saying this directly to my parents, employer, friends of a different faith or political party?

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building othersup according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph. 4:29

Those are a few of my thoughts. What would you add?

You might also be interested in this post on “Crucial Conversations”.












How You Can Bring World Peace with Three Words

I’m driving to lunch, and talking to Mom on my cell phone. “I’m going to meet an Imam!” (I say excitedly)

Mom: You’re going to meet a New Mom??! (she says just as excitedly)

Me: No, but that’s ok, I had to Google the difference between an “Imam” and a “Sheik” this morning. I’m a newbie.

All I know is we’re not meeting at “Porkbellys” as Mom calls it.

I’ve always been globally aware, but I blame my friends Lynne and Todd for encouraging this newer socially awkward 5-year-old me who anxiously says, “Will you be my friend?” to people of different colors, faiths, political orientations…Even Vegans, for Pete’s sake.

I’m convinced that World Peace may start with the three words, “Let’s Do Lunch”. 

We need to get up close and personal with those different from us, but it takes some effort when Jews are the most different-from-me folks in my neighborhood.

We need to be “neighboring” rather than “othering”, and for someone to become a “neighbor” rather than an “other” requires a conversation…the beginning of a relationship.

Anyway, John is meeting with this Imam and I feel like a toddler begging, “Let me come too! I wanna be friends too!”

I have QUESTIONS! I really want to understand those who are different from me – especially Muslims who have been so “otherized” by the media.

As I walk into Ciao Bella I wonder if our Imam will look askance at me wearing jeans and Converse sneakers.

We sit down together and fortunately, Asad is extremely gracious and patient as I pepper him with stuff like, “Will it offend you if I have bacon in my salad?” (No, those are my dietary laws, not yours.” Smile.)


Asad orders fish for lunch, has a wife but no kids, and lives in the suburbs.

He says information and statistics aren’t as important as plain old proximity. He says if you have a pediatrician or a car mechanic who is a Muslim, it goes a long way to put a check in your spirit when the media paints them all as terrorists.

Still, Asad does give us some facts:

  • Part of being a Muslim means loving and following Jesus.
  • Mary, the mother of Jesus is mentioned more times in the Koran than in the Bible.
  • Only 20% of Muslims are Arabs, but our stereotypes of Islam come exclusively from the Arab world.
  • Muslims and Christians together make up 50% of the world. By 2040 they will make up 2/3 of the world population. If Muslims and Christians can’t get along then World Peace doesn’t stand a chance.

Why am I being painfully vulnerable, sharing my faltering attempts to make new friends? 

I believe World Peace can start with a step as small as lunch. We can do this! (We could start a new peace-making service called “It’s Just Lunchif it wasn’t already taken!) We can de-Trumpize rhetoric, but it needs to begin with us.

“We all have some responsibility to do one activity that leaps across the chasms of segmentation that afflict this country.” David Brooks

John, Asad, and I leave lunch with a plan to gather 75 people from our church to attend a dinner at Asad’s mosque during Ramadan. We’ll go, we’ll listen, we’ll make friends.

The start of world peace.

Who can you invite to lunch this week?


Lessons from Hurting People

Who’s that person or group of people who hurt you deeply?  What are those words you can’t forget? That betrayal? The rejection, dismissal, even persecution you’ve endured that left a wound?

Maybe it was long, long ago. Or yesterday.

After time, you may even be able to insulate yourself and forget it for an hour, or a day, or even a week.

But then someone says something. Or does something. Or you see something out of the corner of your eye.

That wounded place gets bumped and it hurts, and you realize you need to forgive again. And again.

Because hurting people hurt people. Continue reading

You Do You

A few weeks ago a friend asked me to be on a panel of women peace-makers at a conference for peacemakers. These are courageous women who are all in. They are PEACE-MAKERS.

I’m more of a peace-wanter.

My exact text response was “Are you freaking KIDDING me??!” I felt I was totally unqualified to be on the platform with women who are on the front lines in Israel, Palestine, Fergusson…

And I was, but they wanted me anyway and the reason I eventually said “yes” was because I think I’m like many of you who need a little encouragement that we all have a part to play.

We’re the “small things” people , the cheerleaders and the story-tellers and that’s ok, at least for a start.


When I got home, I was listening to a podcast message by Clay Scroggins and heard a phrase that was new to me. It’s really stuck in regard to my role in WORLD PEACE. Continue reading

5 Questions About…Forgiveness

This “5 Questions about…” post is by my dear, courageous friend who  would like to remain anonymous for now.  I know you’ll be blessed and inspired by her powerful story.

1.  You have an amazing husband and an adorable baby boy – a healthy, Jesus-loving family, but your own family growing up wasn’t so healthy.  Can you give us a little background?

I feel humbled and grateful that the Lord answered my prayers and hearts desire for this family of mine.  Although the Lord took hold of me and I of Him as a little girl, I have kept many unhealthy secrets along the way. 

I was conceived out of wedlock to  a mother who wanted to abort me and a father who almost did. He has told me, ” I had a vivid dream that God told me to keep you and on the way to the abortion clinic, I convinced your mother to keep you”. Continue reading

Learning the Language of Peace

Ok, so here’s the thing.  Two years ago when I traveled back to the Holy Land, I didn’t know where the West Bank was.  West Bank of what?   And if the West Bank is so important, what’s up with the East Bank?  Anything?


I didn’t know what, where, or why the settlements were so controversial.  The Nakba? Is that a type of falafel?  It was all Greek, (or, more accurately, Hebrew) to me.

I didn’t know the mean things Muslims had done to Christians, or Christians had done to Jews, or Israelis had done to Palestinians.  Or what everyone had done to everyone else. Continue reading

Starting in Tel Aviv

Good morning from Tel Aviv!  I wrote on Monday that I’m going to be traveling in Israel/Palestine this week. It’s a trip devoted to entering into the heart of God for peace and reconciliation. Today we’ll spend some time here and in Nazareth.

We just arrived last night so I’m a little fuzzy, but I’m wondering if you might want to join me virtually.  I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post or how much time I’ll have to reflect, but this morning here was my view from the top of our hotel as I soaked in the goodness of God (that’s pretty easy to do with this view, sunshine and 70 degrees).


As I sat here, these are the words I read.  As you read them, what words stand out to you? Continue reading

Changing the Conversation

Last night most of America was watching the Oscars...the red carpet beautiful people who seem to be as good at dodging questions as a politician running for office.  Many questions the press hurls at them are inappropriately personal or just stupid.  Who wouldn’t want to avoid some of that?  But there are other times when changing the conversation is positive, and important to growth.

This afternoon I’m leaving on a trip to Israel/Palestine.  I’m traveling with a few people from our church, led by Telos, an organization we’ve been partnering with that desires to engage evangelicals in conversations with Israelis and Palestinians pursuing peace.

This is hard stuff.  Complicated and intense and emotional, and personal for so many.  Frankly, I might prefer it if Jesus invited me to follow Him into, say…Hawaii maybe. Continue reading

What Hagar Taught me About Peace, part 2

 I thought it might be timely to share two posts from a couple years ago. Here’s the second.

Some things are just tough.

Like figuring out why people are fascinated with Snooki, or how to fold fitted sheets, or what makes some people able to eat a kabillion Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and not gain a pound.

Or, you know…how to achieve peace between all the people in all the places.

When it comes to the Middle East I keep wanting to say, “Lord I’m a bear of Very Little Brain” like Winnie the Pooh.

I have a long way to go, but God is patient and often a theme gradually emerges.  Yesterday I wrote

The truest thing I’m learning about peace is that keeping people at a distance makes it easy to demonize them.

But coming close topples the walls of misunderstanding.

This morning God reinforced this as I re-read the story of when God comes close to Hagar. Continue reading

What a Drive-By Taught me About Peace in Israel

Peace.  We hear a lot about it.  Or the lack of it.  We talk about it when we talk about the Olympics.  Or Syria.  Or anywhere there’s been a shooting at a mall or school.  In a few weeks I’m heading back to Israel/Palestine with an organization called Telos that has the goal of working with evangelicals to help positively trans­form the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  They are pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, and pro-peace.  I thought it might be timely to share two posts from a couple years ago. Here’s the first.

Last week I was driving around running errands, preparing for our daughters to arrive for a visit and for me to leave for Israel/Palestine.  I changed into the left lane to zip ahead of an old blue-green mini station wagon.  As I accelerated past I noticed the car was significantly bashed in as if from an accident.  A man was driving the car, smoking a cigarette and talking on his cell phone.

Confession.  Here are the three thoughts that went through my head:  This guy is irresponsible, unsafe, and makes unhealthy choices. Continue reading

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