It’s Domestic Violence Month.
It would be an understatement and perhaps insensitive to say this month started with a bang.
On the very first day of October, violence claimed lives in Vegas.
This year, I’m going to use a broader meaning for domestic because violence isn’t just in the house or the bedroom or some other dark cave. Violence boldly stepped into the light and declared itself the norm. Violence is no longer ashamed of its behavior.
And most are tired of talking and reading about it. We’d rather read a post about kittens than about violence. We are too saturated by the blood in the streets to focus on violence hiding in the home.
I get it.
In college, I scored high as a social genius. Until recently, I was able to maintain many relationships in vastly different social groups, ideas and lifestyles. I was able to intervene, bring people together and help them communicate. It was my skill. It was my trade and made me an effective advocate for the least, lost and the left out.
Specifically for victims of violence and other marginalized people who needed help and support.
Until recently my faith life and advocacy weren’t in conflict. There are beautiful scriptures about social justice and advocacy for the least of our brothers and sisters (Matthew 25:40). For the most part, my fellow Christians agreed we needed to care for others.
But now friends accuse me of being political and claim the church should stay out of politics.
I’ve always been vocal. I’ve always been an advocate for someone, even when I was a child, I’d stand up for others.
Yet, some friends forgot I’m an advocate. They are shocked and annoyed that I support Black Lives Matter, LGBTQA issues, immigration, gun control, body autonomy, health care and other issues that reduce violence and pain, or will sow peace in our community. And they want to know why I’m marching and what are we are protesting.
Some friends are even more polarizing, less compassionate and angry towards people of color, the LGBTQA community and the poor. And people are getting hurt.
Violence is escalating.
I’m having trouble finding common ground. I want to remain friends. I wonder if I lost my skill. Intelligence should remain constant but stress and fear can impair its expression. And exhaustion, terror and conflict can impair the audience.
Perhaps America is in a tantrum of growing pains and needs a more gentle approach to keep her moving forward. If we’re not ready to move forward, let’s at least agree not to lose the progress we’ve made in ending domestic violence.
We’re on a journey together, we can’t get to the promised land without one another. So let me remind you where we’re going.
Advocates, like others and myself are marching for equality. Our collective goal is to connect across the nation to end violence against women and children. Our focus is on the most vulnerable or in other words the “least of these” mentioned in Matthew 25:40. The least of these is our poor and marginalized who are at greater risk than the rest of us. We seek serenity, peace, equality and justice for everyone. We march for domestic tranquility.
Will you join us?
Ecclesiastes 4: 1, 9-12 (NIV)
Again, I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.