Written by Melissa Sharpe
“Not everything is as it appears to be” …
This statement has never seemed more true to me than the society we’re living in right now. I don’t know about you, but I would venture to think for most of us, we are having a hard time processing the news of the world around us. We become so focused on what’s happening in our own little bubbles, we don’t have the head space to process what’s happening to someone else in our own neighbourhood let alone the other side of the world.
The news seems to perpetuate fear to the point where we don’t even feel comfortable around our own families let alone being active in our communities. Our homes which are meant to be our places of refuge have become our prisons. And we can’t control what’s happening to us so we try desperately to control what’s around us. The message we hear every day? Assume nothing so that you don’t get caught unaware or unprepared. How do we lead others when we struggle with our own thoughts and feelings?
But there is one thing that we can assume in this life: and no, it’s not the old saying “death and taxes” though that’s true too, its the secondary definition of the noun assumption as written in Websters Dictionary:
The action of taking on responsibility.
We cannot assume what we think is true just because we think it. We cannot assume something is going to work out the way we want it to just because it may have before. We cannot assume the thoughts or feelings of another person, and we certainly cannot assume someone else will take responsibility for their actions. Have we not all lived through this? Have we not all been affected by the assumptions of another person?
So, if I have learned anything during this time of isolation, it is that not everything is as it appears to be.
The statistics on abuse in North America during the last year are staggering: Children’s Services have been overwhelmed with inquiries and home visits, women’s shelters are overcrowded, homeless shelters, food banks and suicide helplines don’t have enough resources to help. People are crumbling on the inside long before the world can see it on the outside … and sometimes too late because of our assumptions.
Perhaps that’s why we love our bubbles so much. We can shelter and protect ourselves from the pain and problems of the outside world. We find ourselves asking questions that we never thought we’d ask and there never seems to be enough answers let alone any good ones. But a good leader continues to ask hard questions … with hope.
I can’t assume I can do it all on my own for leadership takes on many forms and requires a village around us to hold steadfast to our collective vision.
Maybe that’s where we can find some of the answers we’re looking for. If we can stop assuming “somebody else” will lead and actually be the “somebody else” to help shoulder some of the responsibility of another, then Christ will be there to do the same for us.