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"Dear Eliza"... The conspiracy theories that divide 

This is a song in the works. I don’t remember a time I shared a song like this while it is still being completed, but I feel like being vulnerable and putting it out there today! This song is unique for me on several levels. For one, it’s the first time I named a song after a person – Eliza. Second, I typically sit on songs for a while before I ever put them out; however, in this case, this is a fresh song, still in the works, and this is me just sitting down at the piano and playing through it. You are experiencing this new song, as am I. In some ways this makes me feel uneasy, but I feel like I can’t hold it back because it is from this time in our history, and it makes sense through this lens of us – right now -- experiencing this history together. Another difference, I don’t usually provide the context of a song (unless you’re watching me live – then some stories come out!), rather just put it out there and let anybody who listens try to figure out the puzzle. In this case, though, I will give some context. I do not want to offend anybody with this, but I can only tell this story from my perspective, and I can only call it as I see it. 

I was talking over the phone to a lady in North Carolina. Her name is not Eliza, but I changed it to respect her confidentiality. I’ve been making calls to help get out the vote. It’s no secret to any of you how I feel about the upcoming election, and we were discussing this. She was so perplexed about her own feelings, and very open with me. It sounded like she really needed someone to talk to. Just days before, the family had buried her aunt who had just died from coronavirus, and she was hurt and confused why her neighbors would not wear masks to go anywhere, saying they didn’t have the virus so they didn’t need to. She comes from a family of military service, and she did not understand the blatant disrespect for those in service. She said she is pro-life, however she understood that supporting women’s access to healthcare and birth control is necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortion. She did not understand the disrespect to women, in general. She also did not understand how people who are pro-life can be ok with the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths to coronavirus. With all of this being said, she said she was just so confused why her friends kept telling her that she has to vote Trump if she was Christian. THEN SHE TOLD ME. Despite all of these things that were not aligned with her own beliefs, she said that they are all worried about the Democrats’ plan. She said that the Democrats are using coronavirus to kill all the world’s population except for 5 million ‘elites’, and so she said that she just needed to do some more research on this. I was floored and caught myself literally on the phone frozen with my mouth hanging open. 

This is what we are all dealing with right now. Reality is being twisted and truth turned upside down. Everyone is being targeted. The wild conspiracy theories that you may see in your Facebook feed or across the web are specifically tailored to you. I have seen this in stark, almost unbelievable terms as I’ve been talking to people around the country. Believe me, whatever demographic you are – you are being specifically targeted to your vulnerabilities, and we ALL have vulnerabilities. The things that “Eliza” and her friends see in their Facebook feeds – I have never even heard of! This experience really opened my eyes to the problems that we are currently experiencing regarding truth and fact. No wonder people are having a hard time finding common ground! 

So, I keep “Eliza” in my heart as an example of a good person, trying to live her faith, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and struggling with her understanding of right and wrong in the face of these attacks on reality. It is sometimes even hard to follow what your heart tells you is ‘right’ when you are surrounded by people or stories telling you that you are wrong. If “Eliza” hears me now, I want her to know that I hear her, I see her heart, and I understand her struggle – I empathize with her. 

In the days ahead, these attacks on reality could get even more intense than they already are. My advice: check sources, check each other, listen to others with different views, and talk with one another. Let’s remember that we are all human. May we lift each other up to seek truth and common understanding in these strange times.