Jaisy Tam Harbridge
I must admit that I’ve never been a fan of politics. I struggle with the idea of ‘playing politics’ rather than doing what’s right and serving the people. That might be a naive way to think but that’s simply where I stand. And so for many years as young person growing up in the Toronto area, I made a subconscious decision to follow only enough politics to know what’s going on but not enough to actually care.
With so many issues going on in the world we live in, it’s just so much easier to be blissfully ignorant. What can I actually change as one person? What difference am I really going to make? What will my one vote actually do? I’m embarrassed to admit that that’s what I’ve been doing because I hold so much value to being self aware and authentic to myself and to others.
Could you imagine if Jesus acted on such debilitating thoughts while He was sent to accomplish what no one else could do? That would never have happened (Thank God!) but that goes to show just how much our brokenness calls out for a savior – one who not only reminds us that we each matter but also exemplified with His life, what ONE person can do.
My stubborn ignorance has been called to question most recently since I’ve become a mother. I love my two girls and God has opened up my heart and given me the courage to finally feel the discomfort that I’ve pushed aside for so much of my life. For the first time, I cannot deny that the decisions being made for us or ‘on our behalf’ by our leaders, are shaping the world that my children are growing up in. That is something I cannot ignore, not matter how scared it makes me.
Our reality here in Canada is one full of contradictions. Priding ourselves to be inclusive as a nation, we’ve used our educational and public service platforms to make statements about gender, race or other social issues. We seem to be trying so hard to make everyone happy; to make sure this impossible ideal of ‘equality’ will be achieved that in the end, it has become about getting what some ‘deserve’ at the expense of all others.
Gender ideology is a big topic right now in our province and country and while I understand the need for greater acceptance for all people (no matter what they consider to be their ‘identity), why does it now have to take precedent in our school systems? This is my country, Canada, where it’s also no longer widely appropriate to say “Merry Christmas” because it makes the Christian story too exclusive. Why do I have to say Happy Holidays if I truly believe in a Merry Christmas? Contrary to what our policies and legislation are supposedly trying to rectify, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand for what you believe in.
We, the Church – God’s people – need to engage during these times. It may mean something different for each one of us and as you can see, I’m only starting to figure out what that means for me. It’s not about fighting in order to win. That battle has already been won for us. It’s about engaging in the conversations and circumstances that cry out for the people of God to choose and to have a voice. It’s about embodying the life that Jesus lived while he was here – unashamedly and fearlessly standing for the Truth in the midst of opposition and chaos. We need love so fiercely that it hurts because loving the way Jesus does requires sacrifice.
It’s going to be difficult. Wrestling between what I think is right and how the Lord would want me to act; so that what is ‘right’ is lived out in a way that is also most loving. All I know is that I am willing to stand up and speak out and to my fellow Canadians, I hope you are willing to as well.
Let us not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)