Let’s face it, we’re not perfect. None of us are. Not even here in what some like to call the “Anderson bubble.” We’re a bunch of flawed and imperfect people who step on each other’s toes and insult each other all the time.
In the timespan of about one week, we’ve had a forum to discuss the LGBTQ community and related issues, an act of racial aggression in the form of revolting speech, as well as a bomb threat that took place on the same day that we had a Muslim guest-speaker in chapel, It would seem that, as much as we may or may not desire it, the so-called “Anderson bubble” has been breached by the issues of the “real world.”
In fact, I question whether such a bubble has ever even existed. Regardless, we are a community and people of faith. While there was no statement of theology that we, as students, had to sign or agree to whenever we first came here, it is no great secret that this school appears to be full of people proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. Just head to the Bottom of Decker on Sunday nights, or attend the numerous Bible studies that happen all over campus, or look up from your phone or laptop during chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you’ll probably see what I mean.
However, if there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of self-proclaiming Christians on this campus, why is our community still struggling with some of the same basic issues as other institutions? Why is safety still being threatened and why are individuals being treated without basic dignity? Unfortunately, we are not as “sheltered” as some of our friends at schools like Ball State and Purdue might think. It would seem that our Christcentered community is subject to imperfection as well. So what are we to do as a community?
I believe that we must treat these new struggles as lessons. We must recommit ourselves to our studies and to our faith. We must not allow aggression and hatred to prevail on this campus. We must allow ourselves to change and to grow. To couple truth with love and allow these things to prevail and shape our community. Allow the perfect love of God to cast out fear, and trust in God for protection. Let us be a community dependent upon God; echoing the words of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. We trust in the mighty and living God’s ability to protect and preserve us and will obey Him whether or not He chooses to use that ability.
Again, none of us here are perfect. However, we are all loved by God. Let us endeavor to show His love to each other. Let us show love to the ones who have been frightened by threats and the ones who have made the threats, to members of the LGBTQ community and to those who do not support them, to those who suffer from racism and to those who propogate the system. Let us never confuse love with endorsement. Finally, let us endeavor to be a community that rejoices in the Lord always and lives in harmony in the Lord. May we as a community go forward and attempt to do better and ask God for His mercy, grace, and assistance in our stumblings.
Mitchell is a sophomore psychology major from Cloverdale, Indiana.