I am worn. Not tired. I am worn.
I am worn out by two sides, two very different voices crying out. Both sides certain, they are right. Two different sides shaming and convicting, condemning and criticizing, pointing fingers and dividing. Both sides are wearing me out.
I am a peacemaker. That isn’t a bad thing and I won’t own that it is. This is my gift. But being a peacemaker, I am feeling all of the feelings coming from both sides, tugging at my weary soul. Typing this, I can hear the mockery that both sides would have to say. And I can’t care anymore. I just can’t. The heaviness of all of this is more than I can shoulder any longer.
I have a feeling I am not the only one somewhere in the middle. I have a feeling I am not the only one who wants to have a voice, but shrinks back, knowing the packs of wolves are waiting to pounce, waiting to shred every word, to destroy every argument. And it just isn’t worth it to speak up. Because what we would have to say is somewhere in the middle of it all, and if you are in the middle, you don’t get to have a say. It seems you only get to voice your thoughts if you are taking one stance or the other. You get to be heard if you are willing to take a side and willing to defend it, because you will surely have to.
But what if there is merit in both sides? What if there is truth to be found in both arguments? Why couldn’t we grab some from each and use these as a common ground to unite? Why continue to divide over differences? Why continue to unfriend, unfollow, and block “friends” over differences? Is that really what real friends do? Walk away when your viewpoints differ greatly? Turn your back on lifelong friends because they won’t come over to your side? Closed minded coversations that were never started, severing ties between dear friends. It’s ugly, the vile spewed, hurtled across enemy lines. Both sides inciting that the other should grow up. And maybe they are both right. Maybe they both should grow up and find common ground, some ground, somewhere in the middle?
My peacemaker heart aches for unity. I long to see grownups acting like grownups, having open minded conversations. There are young ones watching all of this who are learning to have a voice. They are weighed down by all of the opinions and judgements, trying to find their own truth. I yearn for adults to lead children by example, allowing them to see a generation willing to give a little and take a little, willing to find some common ground, somewhere in the middle.
I am setting the table. There are places of peace set out for everyone of us here. We can sit, side by side, here, not across the table. We can share our opinions and thoughts openly here. We can have the hard conversations here, not slamming down forks and storming away. We can sit in the awkwardness of it all and grow, learning from one another. There is unity here. There is enough to go around, with leftovers to spare.
I am setting the table, right here, somewhere in the middle.
I set a place for you. Will you join me?