I was on a Zoom call with friends recently, debating the legacy of Thomas Jefferson, when one of my friends brought an end to the debate with the words “People are complicated.” This is a fact we all know to be true.

Humans are sinners. We all err either intentionally or unintentionally. Some of us may strive to be saints, but still, we all will continue to fall short.

In this age dominated by intense feelings about everything, the fact that people are complicated is one that should be remembered. When the protesters downtown look into the faces of federal agents, they should remember they are just people. When federal agents look into the faces of the protestors downtown, they should remember they are just people. Each of us has a story. Each of us has a life that is much more complicated on the inside than it appears on the outside.

The danger of demonizing those who think differently is that we lose sight of the fact that we are all God’s children. In truth, God loves both the protestor and the federal agent abundantly and tenderly.

“Love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful,” said Jesus in Luke 6:35-36.

God is merciful to us despite our complicated nature. Can we not be merciful to each other?