Speak. The time is near.
Ten years ago I woke up on the floor shaking from a dream I had. I shake as I write this now. In this dream, the sun turned dark, the ground shook and I fell to the ground. I saw all of Scripture written across the starry sky with a pen of light. Then at once, all the stars in the sky came together and formed the face of the One I couldn't look at. Jesus, looking like a face of fiery stars looked at me and said, "Ashley. Speak. The time is near." Then I awoke. For a decade I have sought to ask the Lord to make me obedient when He tells me to speak. Sometimes I listen well, other times I don't. I often know when it's time because my ands begin to shake right before I am to speak or write. I don't shake out of fear of people, but the fear of God. So now, as I share this letter I weep and I shake again. Not because I fear your response anymore, but because I the fear of our Holy God shakes in my bones.
Today is Pentecost. Did you know that? I have only recently been taught the relevance of today. A time for the Spirit to awake the people of God and send them to harvest what He has been planting. But there is also a deep injustice- blood that cries from the ground. It is time again to speak. He is moving in the church, His kingdom has purposes we don't understand. He calls us to open our eyes. I have heard my whole life about being a "proverbs 31 woman". But we begin at verse 10. We miss perhaps the most important part. We miss the command. Speak Up! Because even though others are speaking, their voices are not being heard. Our silence has silenced theirs. Today I will mail this letter out to representatives and politicians- anyone God tells me to. I share it with you and ask you to seek Him today. Really seek Him. What does the Spirit cry out in you? Give Him freedom to tell you and reveal whatever it is that He says to you. Use your skills, your gifts, your connections, your resources, your time, your heart for kingdom purposes. The kingdom purposes of injustice weep with longing. Feel free to share this.
May 29, 2020
To those who have been given power by the people that voted them in,
I am a middle aged white woman. I follow Jesus and my loyalty lies with Him. You have likely made several assumptions of me at this point, but let me set the record straight. I passionately believe we should stand for life. I stand for life IN the womb and OUT. My daughter has Down Syndrome. Before she was born, many would think her life was not worth living. She is the most vibrant, kind, beautiful person you will ever meet. Her life began at conception, but her purposes, I believe were set apart for her long before that. I stand with her life. I stand for life- at all times- in the womb and I always will. But I also stand for the lives of those already here.
I stand with mothers, fathers and children standing at the border of our country who are treated like criminals for desiring the basic freedoms we have in America. I have met many migrant families personally and each long for safety, food, a place to dream. Our country is made of immigrants. This land was cultivated by the Native People that called this land home for thousands of years. As white immigrants flooded the coasts, longing for “the American Dream”, the land was taken from the Native People. We took it by force and claimed it as “ours”. After wiping out millions of people and centuries of culture, we speak of the greatness of America. We stole millions more from their homelands and forced them to work this very land. Now, as black and brown families seek the freedom we have, we angrily cry “No!” These families have stories. They have names. I stand with Dreamers and migrant families. I am not afraid.
I stand with black men and women across this nation that long for reform and justice. I live in a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood. I do not fear getting stopped by cops or being treated unfairly because of the color of my skin. I do not have people wrongly assume I was involved in a crime or that I might be violent. But hundreds of thousands of God’s children in this nation are being treated unjustly, being killed without accountability for those responsible. Black Lives Matter is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is a human issue. It means that if my blonde haired son was shot by police in a park because he was playing with a pretend airsoft gun- there would have been an uproar. Apologies. Reform. All Americans would know his name. Tamir Rice and every other person of color that’s been killed without reason or regard for humanity or wrongly imprisoned deserved the same. Reform of the justice system has to happen to hold those in power accountable to the justice they have promised to withhold. “Black Lives Matter” has had to become and explicit phrase used because black and brown Americans have been told explicitly and implicitly for centuries that they don’t. I stand for police reform. For accountability. For justice in the legal system where it has been skewed by politics, power and money and prejudice. Where those in power hide the truth and turn the other way so as not to deal with the root problems. I stand with those that seek to reverse systemic poverty and see that the pain in our nation lies with years of ignoring it. I stand with those that cross party lines and fight for life- not politics. I stand with those that are brave, bold and vote to serve others, not themselves.
This last election brought about an even deeper rift in our nation, showing us just how quickly politicians are swayed by those in power. I will not vote for a Republican. I will not vote for a Democrat. I will not vote for an Independent. This next election, I will vote for anyone brave enough to forget their parties and fight for the lives of those that are continuously silenced. I will encourage others to bravely do the same. I’ll be fine. So will you.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”
A white, Jesus loving Texas woman demanding change,
San Antonio, Texas