“The year was 2016, it was seemingly a rebirth of consciousness, the eyes of society were being forced to turn its attention to existing American atrocities, protests of oppression and injustice were flooding the streets, panelists were taking stage to articulate the need for change and reform, rallies were en masse, there was an energy an undercurrent for transformation – and there she stood, silent, apathetic, divorced from the very reality she was called to confront . . . she was the church.”
It has been some time since I have taken time to pen my thoughts. Admittedly, it has been quite difficult. There has been so much to happen, that is has been near debilitating. Literally, I have been in this constant cycle of thought – emotion – thought – emotion . . . There is so much I feel that needs to be said, so much that needs to be done. Watching and reading the news, my conscious is bombarded with tragedy after tragedy – glaringly obvious injustice, racism, oppression, and deflection. Many days, it is here I sit, in this seat, wanting, needing to write something – and yet nothing is birthed. The passion in me sits, stirs, and just erupts in an enraged anger of “donothingness.” It is overwhelming.
I am confident however, that I am not the only one overwhelmed by the need for change and transformation in our society. I am confident, that there are many of us who are willing to face the “isms” that ail our society. I am confident that there is a remnant of conscious thinkers who engage in the cognitive Call of Christ. I am confident that we are here, we are present, and willing to stand on the message of justice embodied in the Jesus we preach.
But, where are???
My fear is that the organism I hold so dear, the collective community of love, the very people who should be a beacon of light and hope for change – the Church – will be recorded on the wrong side of change. My fear is we have become conveniently “deaf and dumb.” We seem to opportunely forget that the same God who gives eschatological hope has existential HANDS. God cares as much about our right now as He does our by-and-by.
Yet, for some reason we tie God’s hands, turning our ears and eyes off the to the pains of His people . . . yes, His people. There is more time spent trying to decry the reality of racism and oppression than listening to the pains and experiences of our neighbors. We preach a God of Love, but are afraid to love beyond ourselves. Apathy is our residence of choice, parking our faith, praying for change we don’t want to be. Instead of emerging as a community of love and transformation we seemingly hide behind our created Christian context divorced from the world we were called to change.
Maybe, its time to unplug the ears and unveil the eyes. Maybe we need to revisit the story of Moses and how he was called to confront oppression. Maybe we need to revisit Amos and be reminded that The Lord is disgusted by injustice. Maybe we need to revisit that Jesus called us to love the least of these – the down and out – not just the up and in. Maybe we need to revisit that we are to be minsters of reconciliation not avoidance.
Maybe its time to not just quote “love they neighbor as thyself” but live it – through the ears and eyes of change.
We’re not deaf or dumb, maybe its time we start acting like it . . .