“A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir;’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?'” – Matthew 21:28-31
My children are growing up to have all my same preferences and prejudices, just like I planned. They hate the color beige, love Brussels sprouts, and feel utterly indifferent about Nascar.
But they’ve also inherited some prejudices I didn’t plan for. When they started, at a very young age, talking about all Republicans as bogeymen, I knew I had done them wrong.
My stepfather-in-law is a registered Republican. He voted for Trump, because of the open Supreme Court spot. And every Thursday, he quietly volunteers with the local DV shelter, supporting women and children who have fled violence in their home.
I am a lifelong Democrat (surprise), who cares deeply about addressing climate change, ending poverty and dismantling racism. And yet—wasn’t that me on the phone the other day, getting imperious with a low-wage worker at a call center in India about my new dryer? Three sins with one stone-faced customer.
God once said to Her people, “You judge by the outward appearance; I look on the heart.” That’s because God knows our secret behaviors, the meanness we get away with when we think people aren’t looking, and likewise the secret kindnesses we do without asking for recognition.
Jesus reminded us that we can’t know a person’s righteousness by what they say—only by what they do, especially privately, even if they voted for the other guy.
Here’s me: hoping to become God’s Yes-Woman all the way down.
Jesus, someday I hope to be your Yes-Woman all the way down, preferably before the day when you come again, and call me to account for my whole life.
Molly Baskette is Senior Minister of the First Church of Berkeley, California, and the author of the best-selling Real Good Church and Standing Naked Before God.