Embracing Uneasiness

Daring immediately makes me think of courage and heroics. Neither of which I would use to describe myself, both make me feel uneasy.

So I sit back and think: What am I in the middle of today making me uneasy? How and where can I live more audaciously in those moments?

It does not take me long to wonder.

Embracing uneasiness ... can we lean into the hard topics and be willing to hear both sides and accept that we fall somewhere between the two? How do we balance the tough issues when our real lives and faith seem to clash.

Before I met my husband, he was a police officer. By the time we met he had left the profession, but his friendships and stories focused mainly around that period of his life. Stories of children he couldn’t save, and how those experiences shaped his perspective of the world.

Built deep within him is the need to serve. I anticipated law enforcement lay in our future, but my husband chose a different uniform. As a military spouse, I’ve watched as friends retired from the military and entered law enforcement. I have friends from home who serve, and whenever an officer is KIA my Facebook profile pictures transform to blue lines.

I know the fear that comes with loving someone in uniform.

But I also see the fear in my black friend’s eyes. I hear it in her words and read it in her messages. It is a fear I am not familiar with because I have never been forced to face it. My pasty skin has kept me oblivious. The fault is mine. I haven’t been listening because the words of the marginalized made me uncomfortable, they brought about that uneasiness I prefer to avoid. After all, it’s my friends at either side of the table arguing. One arguing for equality, and the other to be allowed to do their job.

Lives are at stake on both sides.

How do we balance the tough issues when our real lives and faith seem to clash? Click To Tweet

I am stuck in this middle place where I am comfortable with the life we live. Police officers bring me a feeling of safety. Death in the line of duty rocks me to my core. I have too many familiar faces in uniform to remain unaffected. Children dying in the streets should make me cry out in anger, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and yet all I do is hold my children tighter. As if holding onto them teaches the world anything. As if it teaches my child anything.

My child has stared into the face of death and lived. Her assailant was cancer, not hunger or violence or cold. As a nation we’ve risen up against cancer. It’s an easy enemy to all join in the fight against.

I’ve seen God’s miracles in the past. We’ve all heard how far we have come as a nation in the fight against racism. It’s too easy to want to stop and say we are done. That things are right and we have overcome. But there is still evil in the world and no amount of positive thinking can erase the fact there is still more to do.

Perhaps to live daringly is simply to open my eyes, to allow the uneasiness of this middle place to wash over me. It’s time to be bold and to listen to the sounds of the mother, my friend, tucking her son into bed at night telling him all the right words he needs to say and to whom, because she wants another night to tuck him in again.

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 (NASB)

Hope N. Griffin

Hope N. Griffin

Hope, author of "Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife," is a military spouse and the mother of three children. She has an MABS from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in El Paso, TX.
Hope N. Griffin