Standing Up and Standing Out

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by Christian Love

The song “The Stand” by Hillsong UNITED(2008), asks the question: “What can I say? And what can I do?”.  The song’s question represents the feeling many of us have in these days of isolation and self-quarantine.  Due to the current pandemic, many of us are living in fear, frustration, and loneliness.  We who are so accustomed to being busy, moving about from one event or obligation to another, are now told to stop and stay home.  For some of us this is not hard as we are natural homebodies, but for many this is extremely hard.

We know God has this and there is something far greater than we can even imagine in store for us.  There is a trust we place in Him we cannot always articulate, but why then can’t we let go and just be ok with the command to “stay”?  In part it comes from our own brokenness, our desire to control the things we cannot control; the need we feel to fix the problems before us or the fear of dealing with all we have been avoiding by staying busy.

What can we say and what can we do? Well there’s the real chafing point; we cannot “DO” anything on our own.  This is the point we are called to remember the God given command: “Be still, and know I am God…” (Psalm 46:10 NIV).  Our hearts, however, are called to “do” something.  Is there something we do in the stillness? Yes.  We can sit, kneel, stand, sing, and even dance in prayer.  We can pick up the phone and call our friends and family or better yet, video chat with them.  Commiserate, encourage, laugh, cry, or sit in silence with one another over the airwaves or online.

Defining Community

One definition of community is “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”.  However, times like these remind us that we are all one large global community and we need each other.  As Christians we also need to stand out and lift others up, even when we ourselves need to be lifted up.  Our strength comes from another power when we act in faith, there are so many out there in our community who have not embraced this power.  This is not a call to “bible thump” the heathens, it is a call to live in a way others see as different and desirable.  

In conclusion, I leave you the rest of the lyric from Hillsong United “…But offer this heart oh God completely to You”.  The heart of God is love, therefore we are called to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-39).  Let us “be still” and stay as we must, but in our stillness let us stand up and stand out.