Tuesday, August 4, 2020

One Thing We Must Never Cancel

By Adam Faughn

    Over  the  last  few  months,  the  word  “cancel”  has  been  heard more times than I can remember. Young people had graduations cancelled. Youth groups across the country had Lads to Leaders cancelled.  Camps,  vacations,  dentist  appointments...cancelled, cancelled,  cancelled.  Even  worship  services–either  in-person  or even all together–were cancelled.
     Then, of course, the term leapt into our social world with the so-called “cancel culture.” As political and social unrest have seemingly  come  in  waves,  everything  from  actors  to  cartoons  have been “cancelled.”
     It  seems  as  if  everything  around  us  has  been  cancelled  in  some fashion  over  the  past  few  months  or  has  threatened  to  be  shut down  anyway.  Some,  in  the  long  run,  don’t  matter  all  that much, while others are extremely important.
     As the time wears on and the frustrations mount, though, there is one thing we dare not cancel. With the virus, what started off as  “a  couple  of  weeks  or so”  has  now  turned  into months,  and now, we are being told that we have no idea how long we’ll be dealing  with  these  shutdowns  and  confusion.  With  the  “cancel culture,”  it  seems  as  if  that  will  be  around–at  least  in  fits  and starts–for a long time.
     And, as those things go on and on, we seem to be growing more and more testy. Our frustrations mount. We are becoming a little more entrenched in our beliefs, and a little more willing to get not bolder, but harsher, in what we say. Our language becomes more accusatory.
     But there is one thing missing from that, and it is the one thing we simply cannot cancel.


     As  we  grow  more  testy,  we  have  to  have  compassion  for  those with  whom  we  may  disagree.  For  example,  we  have  to  have compassion for those who are angry because people are wanting to  get  back  to  normal  and  on  those  who  are  taking  this  virus  a little more seriously than we might think they should. Both have valid arguments, and both are worthy of our respect.
     We must have compassion on those who are doing their best to make  decisions,  from  politicians  to  business  leaders  to  elders  to parents. They are trying to continually deal with various ups and downs and conflicting data while trying to make many different people happy. It’s an impossible place to be in, and we need to feel for them.
     In  what  we  say  and  in  what  we  share,  does  compassion  show through, or is it just shared in a way that tries to show that people  with  whom  I  disagree  are  foolish  and  backward  and  uncaring? A little compassion, by the way, might help you with your argument, as well as simply be the Christian way to do things.Let’s not cancel compassion. If it was ever needed, it is now.

- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org From the Faughn Family blog, A Legacy of Faith.

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