Comfort Zone, Faith, Hope

Comfort Zone: When Hearts are Confronted

A photo of a deer grazing in a meadow

@JeanneTakenaka

I think everyone would agree this version of 2020 was not the year we signed up for when we turned the calendar page on January first. 

First, a pandemic shut down our country and tried to erase hope and joy. As we’ve become a little more comfortable living in the “new different”, we are confronted with where our hearts and thoughts really stand when it comes to racism.

A stream winding in a river bed with trees and grasses on each bank

I am ashamed to admit that I find it easy to nestle into my cozy little life and try to shut out the harsh realities of what’s occurring in our country right now

We are not the first generation to grapple with inequality in a nation where everyone was declared equal. 

Having teenaged sons who ask questions has been stretching. I want to explore the heart issues, the realities that go much deeper than the soundbites we catch as headlines scroll across our home page.

A deer studying the photographer

Talking with our sons, who are old enough to think through the painful realities, is important to this mama. Wanting to help them glimpse people who are different through eyes of love will require many conversations. 

And being the one whose first inclination is to shield her children from confrontation and danger . . . this stretches me far beyond my comfort zone. When one son asked if he could join in the protests happening in our city, my first instinct was to say, “Are you kidding me?! No way! That’s dangerous!”

But, how would this response help him think through the nuances of his motivations? How would this help him explore what he truly believes? Hubs and I asked a few questions. I so appreciate that my boy-man wants to support those with little-to-no-voice.  

A landscape with a short waterfall and a stream with trees and grasses on each side of the bank

At this point in our year, I find my heart broken for people who have been treated so unjustly. I have found myself in tears and in prayer for the families and the situations I know of . . . and I am certain that the situations with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are only a minute glimpse of the vast injustices that have occurred in our country, “the home of the free, the land of the brave.”

I’m not going on a diatribe here about one side or the other with the issue of racial injustice. I’m also not going to place my hands over my eyes and ears and attempt to block out the truth. I’m trying to discern how to love well.

A tree with V-shaped branches and sunlight peeking through one V

More than ever, I find myself praying. Praying for the families who have lost loved ones to racial injustice. Praying for the friends who grieve the lost connections with those who have been killed. Praying for lawmakers and authorities to see how imperative it is that change begins somewhere. And quite probably with them.

I find myself praying for the good men and women on the police force who seek to do right by everyone, regardless of the color of their skin. Praying for everyone’s hearts to be broken and softened toward their fellow man. 

I’m praying that we learn how to hold onto hope.

A small pond reflecting the morning clouds and a mountain in the distance

Our Father is the only One who can move hearts and spirits. He is the One Person in whom we can hope. 

Instead of shrinking into my small life, I’m seeking to listen. To read. To seek to better understand the stories and experiences of people of color. 

Until we ask our Father to help us see others through His eyes, with His love, we will be doomed to fall into being too quick to judge. To limiting our understanding. I don’t want to be that person. 

Meme with the words: "He has told you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" ~Micah 6:8 on a backdrop of the sunrise silhouetting trees

So in this very different 2020, I choose to pray about where God wants me. And then I’m going to act. I’m not sure what that looks like yet. But it’s past time to move beyond the shores of my comfort into the seas of obedience to my Father in faith.

What about you? What’s one thing you’re learning this year? Where is God moving you beyond your comfort zone? 

Click to Tweet: Until we ask our Father to help us see others through His eyes, with His love, we will be doomed to fall into being too quick to judge.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

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A photo of the cover of an ebook called, "Finding God's Presence in Everyday Living," by Jeanne Takenaka

26 thoughts on “Comfort Zone: When Hearts are Confronted”

  1. Good morning, Jeanne. You’ve put into beautifully thoughtful words where I’m coming from, too –> ‘I’m not going on a diatribe here about one side or the other with the issue of racial injustice. I’m also not going to place my hands over my eyes and ears and attempt to block out the truth. I’m trying to discern how to love well.’

    You are modeling something powerful for your sons. And articulating where so many of us are coming from. Thanks for using your gift to unite us and lead us forward.

    Bless you, girl …

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    1. Awww, Linda, thank you for your encouraging words. Our boys are so fascinating. Sometimes, they toss out random questions. Other times, when I try to initiate conversation, they shut it down. I guess in this, too, I need to be attuned to God’s Spirit. So thankful for you, friend!

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  2. Life is hard. These were some wonderful thoughts and things we all need to wrestle with. In my opinion what the real problem equals to is a humanity issue…from the top of our leadership down. We have pushed out true leader out so far that those who try to lead can’t because they don’t have the correct foundation. But again…that is my opinion.

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    1. Anita, yes, and amen. Life is hard. Until we allow God entrance into our hearts and daily lives as a culture, we will struggle with various injustices. Nothing lasting can be built on a faulty foundation, can it? Thank you so. much for sharing your thoughts in this space! I’m glad you stopped by!

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    1. Carlie, thank you. There’s nothing quite like being faced with situations much bigger than oneself to drive one to her knees. Thank goodness God hears the prayers of His children! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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  3. 2020 has definitely been a crazy, crazy year. My daughter wanted to go to a Black Lives Matter protest last week too. But she’s 25. And I went with her. 🙂 Blessings to you as you have these conversations with your sons. We’re all stretching and going through growing pains. Praying we’ll see fruit in 2021 from our wrestlings in 2020.

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    1. Lisa, I love that you went with your daughter to the Black Lives Matter protest. I imagine that meant a lot to her. We are all stretching and going through growing pains. I’ll join you in the prayer that we’ll see fruit in 2021 from these struggles in 2020. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  4. Beautifully said, Jeanne. You are right — our kids can point the way with their questions. Thank you!

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    1. Jessica, kids are pretty amazing, aren’t they? I love their questions. There have been many times when a question lobbed my direction stops and forces me to ponder. It’s a good thing. 🙂

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  5. I love that you are having dialogue with your family, and deep inside with your own heart. There is much to sort through as we navigate the issues around us with an eye for the gospel. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you, Stephen. We’re trying…sometimes our sons are open and other times they’re closed to talking. I guess it’s all part of #teenlife. 😉 There really is much to sort through as we navigate these issues. I’m so grateful for your words.

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    1. Thanks, Melinda. It’s hard to see the “good in their hearts” some days. God keeps reminding me that they are still in training. I’m hoping we can always provide a safe space to talk through the issues and enable them to explore what they believe and how they will act.

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  6. Thank you so much for always pointing us to what keeps us grounded in this wobbly world. Images and soundbites flood our minds and hearts with enormous speed. We have hardly time to contemplate our reactions and even what we think about any given issue before heading into another crisis.
    How good to come here and find this reassuring message that our God is our Comfort. He doesn’t change. He hears and sees. THANK YOU!
    I have been taught that comfort matters most. I am learning this year that it matters least.

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    1. Sorry not to have responded sooner, Heidi. Yes, regardless of what is happening in this world, our Father is our steadfast comfort, isn’t He? Even when life doesn’t feel comfortable, He’s there for us.

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  7. Thank you for processing your thoughts here in this space with us. I wish I was doing more to speak up about injustice and then in the same breath I am afraid I will say something wrong. I am joining you in prayer for hearts to soften for our fellow man.

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    1. Mary, I know what you mean. I don’t want to say something wrong, and I’m hoping I haven’t in this post. But, I am trying to trust that when God gives me something to say, He’ll give me the words to say it. And yes, let’s continue to pray, my friend.

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