Avoid protests. Too often I am asked what I think about this or that protest. This is about things I agree with or don’t agree with. My answer is consistent: I disagree with protests. For those who are biblically oriented, I question whether or not they are biblical. Now for those who are about to scream at me, here is why I suggest avoiding protests:
Failure to show up where it matters
History is made by those who show up. Many of the meetings where key decisions are made are often void of public input and interference. Every locality I have been a part of has opportunity for people to show up and speak up. For example:
At a meeting for my school district’s accreditation some remarked how the district should have had parental input on certain decisions. I passionately disagreed stating: “We cannot say the district is at fault when through various means invitations to such meetings were given and we didn’t show up. I know this because in a couple of them I was the only parent.”
They who whisper are heard loudest
An amazing teacher of mine never shouted. She just talked quieter and quieter. If forced us to stop and listen with all eagerness. When her voice dropped you knew she was about to make a significant point. No one listens when we shout. It may feel great, but it seems the science and pragmatics say it doesn’t work. Shouting hardens and destroys. It doesn’t bring healing, it doesn’t bring dialogue.
For example, a camp I had the privilege serving had a “no shut up rule.” I asked the reason for such a rule and bossman told me this: “It shuts kids down. It’s worse than swearing at them.” It reminded me of how often we ignore or refuse to agree with someone who yells at us.
Holy Spirit says to serve and listen
The Bible says we should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. The Bible says we should pray for all that we might live quiet and peaceable lives. Jesus showed us a better way. He served. He sacrificed. He showed up where it mattered. Jesus focused on healing wounds, teaching a better way, and giving himself up for us. Jesus focused on being a mediator, which is what a priest function is. For example:
When the protestors shouted at him, Jesus asked God to forgive them. When the protestors were trying to separate Jesus from themselves through the most painful execution imaginable, Jesus tore down the separation between God and us. When the protestors hurled insults, Jesus said “It is finished.” Then he died in our place, for us. Jesus had every right to protest, demand, expel, slaughter, etc. He didn’t.
The bottom line:
Serve your community. Avoid protests. Show up where it matters. Whisper. Serve. Sacrifice. This is where differences and history are made. Jesus shows us a better way. We can all be better listeners. We can all be better teachers. We can all be better servants.