Sunday, January 28, 2018
“When the culture of any organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain that the shame is systemic, the money is driving ethics, and the accountability is all but dead.”
Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness
Sitting in the dark I wonder
How did we get it so wrong?
How did our government get to the place
where heartless men (and a few women) make decisions
that so clearly neglect not just the vulnerable
but the entire community of people that is our country,
that larger reality we call “human kind” (wherever they might live)
and, in fact, the planet itself?
How did our churches get to the place
where money and power and tribal loyalty are more important
than love and grace
how did we get to the place where
our government, our religions, our economics
practice functional violence and participate in casual cruelty
against the vulnerable,
the least of these
and how did we all become complicit?
How did we manage to transform love of God into shaming?
Grace into judgement?
How did we move from compassion to neglect?
We often hear, these days
We are better than this!
Sometimes I wonder
Sometimes I am sure the answer is “no”
And yet, I believe Jesus when he insists that we can be
When he announces that the “kingdom of God is near”
When he proclaims that it is “within”
When Jesus says we can be people who love,
and thus comfort, and include, and protect.
Jesus promises us this alternate reality.
And in the end, we are told, it will be THE reality
But what do we do now?
We cannot merely sit in the dark and lament
We cannot continued to stumble around aimlessly in the wilderness
We can resist
Oh, I know, it feels as if there is nothing we can do
But think about it
What is one thing you could do today,
that would be an act of love?
What is one thing you could do today, that reflects generosity?
Who is that one person toward whom, today, you could live compassion?
Is it really impossible to be kind?
To speak gently,
To reach out a hand,
To provide practical help to those around us?
Oh, I know
Cruelty and arrogance sit in high places
The entire universe seems to bend toward greed and hate
We would rather buy more instruments of death
Than provide healthcare
But what if…?
What if enough people,
What if every person who believed
Even in small ways