This weekend we had some friends over - my husband, the nerd that he is, set up a RPG adventure, we grilled, the non-RPG folk sat outside and talked while the kids played "Rescuebots vs. Elsa". It was a good day and I couldn't help, but reflect on the timing of our little get together with everything that's going on in the world.
Here in my little backyard were people of all beliefs and opinions just having a good time together. They were enjoying themselves in my home that shameless showcases a crucifix in almost every room, prayer cards, rosaries and religious art and we all survived.
Sure we didn't actually talk about those "big issues" floating around, but I couldn't help but feel that we were doing something good. That the little group of friends at my house knows there's a friendly Catholic around whom they can ask questions of in non-emotionally charged (Facebook) conversations. That they got to see a sliver of how we live our lives and that's what we need right now. We need good witness. We need people to make friendships and live out good examples, because that's where good, honest discussion and understanding comes from.
So I encourage you to have a party, and not just include your immediate church friends. Reach out to your community and be a bridge.
Have you ever been driving and have someone cut you off in traffic and really get your blood boiling? Perhaps you swear or call names, and then you pull up next to them and realize it's a neighbor or coworker. All of the sudden you're a little calmer, you understand, you sympathize. When we put a face and a name to things that get us riled up we're a bit more understanding and we need that connection now. We need to be that face someone puts to a faith or a set of beliefs and instead of saying hateful words about a nameless foe, we can be that neighbor in the car that makes someone stop and say "Well, this is how my friend explained her beliefs to me and maybe I don't agree, but I see how it makes sense in her faith and her family."
So I'm issuing a challenge - whether you skew more liberal or more conservative on these issues, whether your driven by your faith or your secular personal conscience - we need to get out there, in our homes and be the face to other people. Go have a party, even avoid politics and religion in your chit-chat, and see what kind of change and understanding we can bring to each others lives.
*I'm going to leave things vague here as to my personal stance because I don't feel comfortable tackling big issues on my blog, it's not what it's for for me. If you're desperately curious feel free to shoot me an email at mollymakesdo at gmail dot com. *