Heaven on Earth by Robbie Cox
The news has been filled with so much hate and division as of late. To make matters worse, the media has done everything in its power to keep it stirred up as journalism has been replaced with sensationalism. The quest for accuracy and truth is forgotten for ratings and the ability to raise the advertising dollar. News is no longer news, but rather opinionated social commentary trying to mold you into their way of thinking. Furthermore, people go on vicious rants and lengthy tirades on social media sites and friends turn on each other as they take opposite sides of an issue. Those who I once saw as quiet and reserved become downright cruel in their verbal attacks. Religion versus the LGBT. Race issues. Cultural differences. Economic division. It’s a living Hell. Who wants to live like that? I understand standing up for what you believe and we need to take a stand against injustice, but to be so angry all the time has to be exhausting. I can see why people ignore the news. They’re tired of Hell. They want Heaven on Earth.
Whenever I get discouraged about the human race, I look to our children for hope. I am never disappointed.
You see, our children run the gamut when it comes to personalities and beliefs. One son and his wife are committed Christians very active in their church as teachers and leaders. Another son is gay and in a committed relationship while going to school and our daughter is a lesbian who is very active in the theater community and well respected. Another son has served in the marines, attended college and now has a very successful career while our youngest son is working his way from party to party. Then there’s the 8 year-old who is being raised right smack dab in the midst of it all, learning to accept people as they are and not how society sees them.
They don’t agree with each other’s life choices. For some it goes against their beliefs. They want different things for their siblings and would love for them to follow their path into what they feel is truth. Yet, they do not judge or attempt to coerce each other to change the course of their journey. They also don’t avoid each other as I have witnessed happening in other families. Some are so indoctrinated in their religion that they have chosen the church over their family and quite often the church is hammering in the wedge. Likewise, my gay children don’t condemn my religious ones for what their denominations teach. They each live and let live while embracing the uniqueness of each other.
It makes me feel as if I’ve raised them right when I hear how they’ve all gathered in one house or another for dinner or game night and I didn’t have to force them to do it or even host the gathering. They embrace everyone in our unique family and there are many in traditional families that can’t say that. If they don’t approve of a family member’s life, they’re quick to ostracize them. Or even if they continue to talk and interact with their child, they will rudely shun the rest of their child’s family or life partner in order to make their statement.
And it’s sad.
Families are not meant to be divided. They should be sanctuaries, safe havens on the earth. If nowhere else, at least among this small cluster of people, each person is free to be who they were destined to be and love who their heart is drawn to. While Hell is erupting all around us, the family should be our Heaven on Earth. You don’t have to understand each other or even agree with each other. Furthermore, there will be times of fighting and arguing within. However, you must love, accept, and support each other through it all. If a person cannot stand by their own family, I would question if they could stand by me, because the minute I did something they didn’t agree with, I would be cut out of their life.
My children teach me that we can be different, that we can interact regardless of culture, sexual orientation, or financial status. They see the inside of people and accept each on that merit alone, not by behavior of a group spouting some label. They do not live in boxes, but rather embody the love and acceptance that is preached from podiums all over the world by people who cannot practice what they preach. This is the way into the future. This is how we can have Heaven on Earth, by embracing the diversity of those around us.
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Indie It Guest Author, Robbie Cox, is the author of Reaping the Harvest (Warrior of the Way) and writer of the popular blog, The Mess That Is Me.