There’s a scene in You’ve Got Mail in which Meg Ryan’s character has what she calls a “breakthrough moment.”
“For the first time in my life, when confronted with a horrible, insensitive person, I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and I said it.”
But then later in the film, she makes a confession:
“… of course, afterwards, I felt terrible… I was cruel, and I’m never cruel. No matter what he’s done to me, there is no excuse for my behavior.”
Yeah, so about that post I wrote about Mr. Trump last night.
I have a good friend with whom I disagree about many things. Still, he’s often complimentary of my writing, and he told me two days ago that I’m good at challenging the extremes and asking the tough questions without being arrogantly opinionated. Today, though… today I received a single-word text from him:
I knew immediately what he was yikes-ing about, but I asked anyway: “What?”
“I just read your blog.”
Here’s the thing: Paul and I are on the same page. Often. I do what I shouldn’t, and I don’t do what I should. Even though I know better. Sometimes, I even go so far as to make a joke about Jesus thinking my mistakes are cute.
That’s simply not true.
I shouldn’t have used the language I used in last night’s post. I can’t stand it when an already marginalized group is pushed further to the sidelines and when vulnerable people are ridiculed and when powerful people misuse their influence to create division and fear and hate. All that emotion tends to short-circuit my brain, and I say stupid things. Righteous indignation is one thing; ugliness is quite another and, quite frankly, doesn’t get us anywhere.
I considered taking down the post, but I don’t want to be disingenuous. Instead, I’m going to say this: I’m decent at writing about Jesus; I’m mediocre, at best, at representing Him. So instead of pretending like I didn’t mess up, I’m just going to apologize.
I’m sorry. And I’ll try to keep it together going forward.
I’m praying for Mr. Trump and for our Muslim brothers and sisters. I’m praying for President Obama and for the news analysts who think it’s okay to use vile language in describing him. I’m praying for an end to psychological and physical violence—between individuals, between political parties, and between countries. I’m praying for answers. For solutions.
I’m confident the light will win.