Fiddle Me This
I’ll admit, when I first wrote a devotion on fallen leaves, it was nothing like what I’m about to write. Our world changed last night though, and when the world changes, we respond to it. We have to, because we are called to live in this world for the time being. This is not our forever home, but it is where we are right now. As a fairly nonpolitical person, I sincerely hope this will be the last political post I write, but as I learned last night; never say never.
The leaves have fallen. The beauty of fall has past its peak. Winter is coming. My heart feels remarkably similar. I don’t think anybody needs the analogy played out for them as they watch the news this morning. Even the Russian poets mark their fear with a winter analogy this morning, and those people know winter. Even as a privileged, white, middle class family, we will not be unmarked by what is to come. There is a very real possibility that our adoption will not be completed in the next 4 years. The world is watching, and every move the US makes is responded to in the adoption community. Judges in highly conservative, politically violent nations where my child will come from do not approve adoptions to a country that is equally racially charged and approaching political violence. There are no certainties, but I’m astounded that even I, one of the most privileged Americans, can still look at my family and feel fear in our future.
A pastor that I sincerely admire reminded me of something yesterday as I walked to the polls. Legend has it that as Rome burned, Nero played his fiddle. As the political establishment that ruled the modern world crumbled before him, he played his fiddle. What do we do when we face a world we didn’t think was in our future? We play our fiddle. What do we do when we feel like evil has won this particular battle? We play our fiddle. What do we do when the ideals we cling to and the values we uphold vanish from our most elite? We play our fiddle. Our fiddle is anything that reminds us of the constants in our life that are not dependent on our culture, our leaders, our finances, our politics or any other false gods we may hold.
As a Christian, here is my fiddle: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22). The greatest people were raised out of the worst political storms. Crusades paved the way to the Reformation. The Renaissance gave birth to diplomacy. The Revolution gave birth to democracy in the Western Hemisphere. World War 2 gave birth to the greatest generation, which all give me the freedom and right to write the words I speak today. It is not my job to fix our political system, or throw a fit that I didn’t get what I think is right. It is my job to play my fiddle, and play it loudly. To raise my children to come out of these next 4 years, that will be the heart of their childhood, as the next great generation to move this world forward. To move it forward with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It is my job to hold our values high and expect those values in my community. It is my job to show those that have fears greater and more real than mine that they are safe with me. Will you play your fiddle with me?
My heart resonates loudly with the disciples as they watched Christ hang on the cross. All of them believed his kingdom would reign in their political world. They all believed the oppression of the Roman government would be overturned by the Jewish Messiah. And they also believed that because they had been chosen as his followers, they too would enjoy a position in his earthly kingdom. (Luke 9:46, Matthew 18:1-6, Mark 9-33-37). My heart bleeds with them as they watch his body hang on the cross, because I now know how it feels to have political hopes for a better country crash before my eyes. I know how it feels to watch seeds of doubt over the sovereignty of our God be planted when he doesn’t behave the way I think he will. Even after Christ’s resurrection that brought grace and healing to the entire world, the disciples still had to live in the world they were born in. It was the same political world the day Christ died as the day he was risen. They still woke up under Roman rule. They still stared poverty in the eyes of their Jewish neighbors. The day he rose from the dead was the day they realized how eternal their lives really were. Even when Christ was alive, he laid it out for them that his kingdom was not of this world. He spoke to their heart in the matter. We cannot hope for earthly things, even Godly ideals in a human world. What we hope for in this world should be for eternal matters. How we live our lives, how we raise our children, how we love our neighbor, is for eternal purposes. We are not of this world. We are chosen children of God planted in this world for his glory. The world we live in will never be what God intends for humanity until Christ comes again.
So even though the leaves fall, and winter comes, we will play our fiddle.
Consider the Word
Christ tells us exactly how to love one another. Here is a small excerpt of my favorites. Pick your favorite and fiddle away.