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I was running late this morning {shocker} and I happened, for a long stretch of road to be behind, this guy…

What If We Put A Face To The Names We Were Criticizing?


And I just slowed down, found a new song on my station, and waited until I could take my turn.

Fifteen years ago, I would have rode his butt, passive/aggressively swerved, and cussed under my breath.

What made the difference in over a decade?

I put a face to the name.

Fifteen years ago this city girl, born and raised, moved to a rural part of the state. Over those 15 years she has learned and watched farmers. That same girl now calls many of those farmers her friends. She knows them by name. These farmers, work long and hard for their families. And giving them their time on the road isn’t a big deal for her because she knows them.

She has put a face to the name.

And it got me thinking. What if we all put a face to the name of something we publicly are frustrated at or think is wrong? What if, before we type the words on a computer, we thought, personally, of someone who might be hurt?

The internet is a breading ground for opinions. And that’s one reason I love it. You can see and read so many sides to an issue. But in the midst of sharing I think we’ve forgotten to put a face with a name.

We’ve forgotten…

The name of the person voting for Hilary Clinton.

The name of the person voting for Donald Trump.

The name of the person who’s had an abortion.

The name of the person who is currently in a same sex relationship.

The name of the person who is an alcoholic.

The name of the person who is struggling in their marriage.

The name of the person tiered of being single.

The name of a person who longs for children.

The name of the person who has a wayward kid.

The name of a single mom.

The name of a mom with a large family.

The name of the person who is struggling with porn.

The name of the person who struggles being a mom.

The name of the person who loves Jesus, who you might disagree with.

The name of a person who is Muslim.

The name of person who was in or is a part of foster care.

The name of person of color, tired of police brutality.

The name of person on the police force.

The name of the person who doesn’t believe anything at all. 

The name of the person struggling with their faith.

And on, and on, and on…

We know the names. We would. If we tried. 

I know I’m guilty of this too. I feel things, deep things, strongly. And, often, the push back on this is to say “We don’t need to have walked in someone shoes to speak truth.” And they’d be right.

But as a Christ follower, I look to how Jesus interacted with people:

Jesus was not in the business of behavior modification, He wanted their heart. He sat with and pushed deep into people’s stories, not shying away from truth but speaking in love. 

This past month as been a dozy in the online world. From people on all sides of political candidates, Black Lives Matter, The police, Christian leaders, marriage, life and parenting.

And it’s become brutal.

I can’t help but wonder if we would say the same things behind a computer if we could put a face to the name of what we’re denouncing or even supporting? If we could see the face of those who are hurt or bothered by our posts?

One good rule of thumb, I’ve been told, is if you’re not sure where to stand on an issue, ask someone who both supports and denounces it. You’d realize that not all Trump supporters are red necks, not all Clinton supports want to kill babies, not all Black Lives Matter supporters want to hurt cops, not all police officers abuse their position, not everyone needs to breastfeed, not everyone needs to be public schooled or home-schooled.

What if we just took a deep breath, got offline and found someone who walks a path we don’t understand?

What if we sat and listened to each other?

What if we stopped marginalizing each other or pigeon holing?

What if we saw that people are not just their opinions? 

What if we truly put a face to a name?

What if we would stop, pause and grow in our understanding?

I’d wager it would be worth ‘facing‘ an opinion.

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Kathy Jacobitz

Wife of 14 years to my college love. Mother of 4 kids ages 10, 9, 7, 5 and of {surprise!} twins due July 2015. A Lincoln native, now an unconventional prairie wife living deep in the heart of southeast Nebraska for over a decade. Always a city girl at heart. A former high school teacher, now a current homeschooling mom. Always in process. Thankful for Divine restoration and Grace. Runs solely on coffee. I blog over at The J Crew .{}

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