By Father Bob Kraig As many are aware the city of Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention last week. I was proud of our city and all the positive publicity it received. The way people looked out for each other, the warmth and hospitality and the service of our safety forces and others truly brought a positive atmosphere and image to our city.
Yes, there were some skirmishes. Yes, there were some altercations. And yes, some people were arrested. But in the end not only did people unite but some people got to know each other in a different way.
One of the things I notice often with wedding invitations is that it says the affair is an adult reception only. I was blest to have a lot of cousins growing up in that my dad had eight siblings and my mother nine. I remember vividly family weddings and gatherings. Always a lot of people – the cousins got to know each other and heard the stories of others.
I wonder if we really hear the stories of others today as everyone does have a story to tell. Regardless of our political affiliations there were stories being told in the convention both in the arena and on the streets – it was there last week and it will be there this week. You have a story to tell and so do I. And yet are we free to tell those stories and are we free to listen to the stories of others.
So here’s the question. Yes – we do have social media, twitter, face book, etc. to READ the stories of others. But are we able to LISTEN and HEAR the stories of others. Many of the safety forces and protesters were able to share with each other face to face last week during the convention. Many people expressed their thanks and appreciation to those who kept the city safe. People saw each other face to face.
As we said – everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has been hurt – all have been offended – many wish things had worked out differently in their lives – and many are grieving the loss of a love one. In addition many have a story of anger about something and many vent their anger through hatred or social media or whatever.
Jesus probably would have been a terrible politician. It wasn’t about speeches, building Himself up or a certain platform. It was just about Him taking time to learn about the people who were part of his life and who came into his life. His platform was simply His Father’s love and forgiveness.
And in the end is there any other platform better than that!