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The Voice Beyond Our Vent

Posted in Encouragement, Overcoming difficulties, and Self-care

Emotions course through our minds until they land where we choose to vent. Such was the case this past week, as we saw fallout from officer-involved shootings of two African-American men. Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina provide the backdrop for our latest narratives.

In the midst of civic unrest, we saw a broad display of emotions. Shock followed by outrage. Slight interest followed by indifference. But outrage and indifference serve as volatile bookends for far too many of these tragedies.  As protest erupted in Charlotte, public opinion began to weigh in.

the-voice-behind-my-vent-quoteSome were sympathetic to the protesters. Others were critical of the uproar. Regardless of where we fall on the response spectrum, these events prompt us to say or do something.

The intensity of what we feel may cause us to take to the streets.

Disdain can take us to the stratosphere of stereotypes.

And yet, whether we bow our heads in prayer or shake our heads in bewilderment, our actions come packed with potential.

Because where we choose to vent determines the next voice we’ll hear.

If we vent among the angry, it’s likely we’ll hear more anger. Among the prejudiced and hateful, we’ll hear more racial slurs. Among the grieving, we’ll hear the reasons for their sorrow. Among the peacemakers, we’ll hear ways to usher in calm.

But there is one more Voice welcoming the complete contents of our heart.

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.- Psalm 62:3

As I retreat to my war room, I hear my Conquering King give me His strategy.

Seek reconciliation, not retaliation.

Seek a deeper understanding, not a shallow shouting match.

Seek a greater sensitivity to His will instead of giving in to my struggle.

I admit, I sit stunned and gasp not again. I recall previous situations and past pain. Over the last few years, similar news stories stack like bricks. Each paver weighs more than we can bear and comes at the cost of someone’s life.

As a result, the moment we hear the breaking news, our hearts rush to one side of the wall or the other. We either grow more skeptical of policing or grow more cynical about why victims lay in the streets. But a praying heart will stand on the wall.

Because where we choose to vent determines the next voice we’ll hear.

Where will you stand?  What will you say?

Each of us adds to the conversation.  We either add to a deeper divide or add to ways to unite. But I’m certain God doesn’t just want us to add; He wants us to multiply.

Until the whole world knows who Jesus is. The Savior of the Lost. The Repairer of the breach. The Comforter to the grieving. The Righteous Judge. No one else can assume that role; yet, any soul can accept His mission.

But where we choose to vent determines the next voice we’ll hear. If we choose the right Voice, I’m confident we’ll help someone else hear Him too — and spread hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

“After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” – John 10:4-5 NLT

              COMING OCTOBER 1st!                                                                                                                                          time-to-fly-button-design



  1. I love your encouragement to turn to the Lord whatever our burden and disappointment. Thanks for writing. Visiting from #RaRalinkup today

    September 27, 2016
    • Joy

      Hi Angela! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Thanks for stopping by!

      September 27, 2016

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