Friday, October 2, 2020

Charity Over All by Melinda V. Inman

Meme that says Writer  Life

Charity Over All 

God has us here for a purpose. He has given us the task of writing what is good, what is right, and what is pleasing to him. We have a mission from God during this time of upheaval, just as writers did during the 9/11 disaster, the Civil Rights Movement, previous times of war, and other national crises during and before our lifetimes.

As Coretta Scott King said, “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation.” Where do we fit in the struggle?

Writers are essential. Someone must proclaim the truth. Someone must relay the facts. Someone must inspire people to continue to go forward during the most difficult times of our nation. Someone must motivate others toward love and good deeds.

That is us. We have been given this task. This is our sacred duty. How will we fulfill it?

Peace and tranquility seem to be in the distant past. In the sixties and early seventies similar strife threatened to tear apart our country. Racial protests, then and now, were sparked by egregious wrongs that must be righted. These require creative solutions.

Combative political discourse enflames the situation, making it nearly impossible to find common ground. And then, there’s the pandemic, which somehow became politicized, thus decreasing our nation’s ability to combat it, and so, we now have over 200,000 dead loved ones.

How can peace possibly enter this situation? Where do we find hope?

A lesson from the past is informative. Richard Baxter was an English Puritan pastor who lived from 1615-1691, a time of great difficulty in England and in Scotland with Protestants and Catholics pitted against one another during the reign of Charles II.

Many pastors were put to death or imprisoned, often for simply not following governmental restrictions about where they were allowed to preach and to meet. And yet during this time, Richard Baxter established a rare path of peace.

Richard Baxter lived this: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in both, charity.” This is broader, yet somewhat similar to what Martin Luther said: “Peace, if possible; truth, at all costs.”

Meme about charity

These quotes only matter to us if we believe in objective truth. As followers of Christ, we do.

We believe in the Word of God and the promises contained therein. The earliest creeds spell out the essentials, the truths, of our professions of faith. The Apostles’ Creed and The Lord’s Prayer, for instance, profess the most basic essentials of Christian faith.

So, how do we apply these truths to our choices and our political decisions when all the news outlets only give shaded versions of the truth, or, in essence, commentary? How much time do we spend fact checking before retweeting or posting something we’ve read?

In essentials, unity. Peace, if possible.

Truth, at all costs. In non-essentials, liberty.

Charity over all. Charity means love, kindness, compassion, believing the best of others, and choosing to prioritize unity and oneness with others during a disagreement.

What are societal essentials? Consider some of the political and social fights occurring right now.

Do personal preferences and insistence on having our own way drive these conflicts? Do we display hypocrisy in our position, refusing to do what’s best for others in a situation, when we have insisted that others do so toward us in the past? Is this even something we should be fighting about or causing division over, rather than seeking the greater good for all?

What is our motive in all of this? What are the Lord’s most important directives to us? How can we be Christian peacemakers?

“Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:29-31 ESV).

During this difficult time, let’s adhere to these greatest commands, aiming our readers toward unity, tolerance, kindness, and love. Let’s be the voice of peace and hope. 

In essentials, unity. Peace, if possible. Truth, at all costs. In non-essentials, liberty. Charity over all. Believe the best of others. Prioritize unity and oneness during a disagreement. #Write #SeriouslyWrite #KindnessMatters via @MelindaVInman

Becoming Christian peacemakers: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength...You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 9:30-31a). via @MelindaVInman

During this difficult time, let’s love our neighbors as ourselves, aiming our readers toward unity, tolerance, kindness, and love. Let’s be the voice of peace and hope. #SeriouslyWrite #WritingCommunity via @MelindaVInman

The Shadows Come

Sequel to No Longer Alone 
(WW1 Based on a True Story)

Germany threatens all of Europe. Millions have died. President Woodrow Wilson makes the declaration that the United States must enter the Great War to rescue our allies. Congress approves. Our story begins. In America’s heartland, everyone hunkers down to provide food for the world and resources for the war effort. A draft is necessary, and all young men must register. One by one, these are called to war. With this threat looming, Prentis and Avery raise the necessary horsepower, cultivate the needed crops, and contribute their labors to the Red Cross.

But crises at home, an insidious busybody, and one after another called up to fight in Europe bring the greatest dangers they’ve ever faced together. Then there’s the influenza pandemic. Will they survive the war abroad and the war being waged at home, threatening their love and their lives? Will their loved ones make it home again? 

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives.


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