Unless you were living under a rock in July and August, you’re probably aware of the controversy over a certain company that sells chicken. The incident ignited a fire within me, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around it all. I couldn’t sleep, either. I would wake up in the middle of the night with a giant lump in my stomach.
This isn’t a post about whether or not to support the company. It isn’t a political post, either. I wish I could sum my feelings up as easily as that. I wish I did fall in a particular category. I wish I could say I’m on one side or another and be done with it.
But I can’t.
I have morals and beliefs. I know what the Church says. I also have empathy.
And while I lean more one way than the other, I can’t help but feel disheartened by the whole episode.
I happened to pass a Chick-fil-a on “Support Chick-fil-a Day.” Before I realized how crowded it would be, I even considered stopping in for a milkshake and a show of support. The line was wrapped completely around the parking lot and extended a few blocks down the main road. At first I was proud. Yay for standing up for what you believe in! Yay for freedom of speech!
And then I thought about all the people who were ostracized. I felt sad for them. How awful must they feel on this day in particular, but every other day, too.
I drove home conflicted inside. I read some awesome reflections about the whole debacle from both sides. I prayed. I thought deep thoughts and prayed more. I went around in circles for many, many nights.
One night as I prayed for and pondered about truth and justice, a thought came to me. What would Jesus have done? I was never one for wearing those WWJD bracelets, but this was a serious and legitimate question. Would He have been standing in that long line?
Of course not.
The only way Jesus would have been there were if He were buying food to give to the poor. Jesus would not have gotten caught up in the media frenzy. Instead, He would have been out preaching the Good News to all of us sinners. He would have been visiting the sick. He would have been clothing the naked. He would have been giving food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty. He’d be counseling. And forgiving. Comforting. Praying.
It dawned on me that perhaps I should be doing the same. I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight for what we believe in. I’m not saying we should give up opportunities to take a stand. I’m just saying that Jesus is calling us to do more. As soon as I started looking at things in this new light, the sleep came back, the lump in my stomach went away.
It’s time for all of us, no matter which side of the fence we are on, to start modeling our lives after Jesus. What would Jesus do? He’d love. He’d show compassion. He’d give of himself to others. He’d pray. He’d follow God’s law. He’d think before He spoke. He would spend more time caring for the sick, the poor, the imprisoned than worrying about whether or not to eat at one restaurant or another.
Maybe you disagree with me. That’s okay. We don’t have to agree on everything to still love one another, respect one another, learn from one another. But I encourage you to really think about your life and your actions. Are you really representing Jesus? Are you really doing what He wants you to do? Are you really spending your hours, your breath, your energy on things that help others in the ways that Jesus helped others?
We could all put a little more effort in to serving and loving others like Jesus. I’m positive that we could build a better world just by asking ourselves “What would Jesus do?” when we find ourselves in troubling circumstances. I know He’s urging me to step away from the drama and leave the politics and the media behind. He’s urging me to make time in my life to serve the least of us. Is He nudging you to do the same?
Life happens when we model our lives after Jesus.
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