Saturday, June 20, 2015

Words Fail Me (But I Keep Talking)

This was my Facebook update today. It doesn't exactly apply to this space, which is less about my kids and more focused on specific truth-telling. Nevertheless, the sentiments apply.

I wrote it out after prayerfully deciding to scrap the service plan and write laments and prayers and hymns for Sunday.


What to say, what to say. 
I try to keep this space uplifting and hopeful. I keep it a space for truth telling. If it is going to be a space where I put up the pictures of my children, then it also has to be a space where I name the realities of the world in which they live. I want it to be better for them, for their friends, for the parents of their friends, for the people they'll never meet. 
Frankly, my dears, it is exhausting. 
I was told "turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace".
I did. They haven't. 
I can't sing, "It is well with my soul" without somehow acknowledging that Satan is buffeting and I don't feel as consoled by blest assurance as I'm supposed to. 
I can't even rejoice in the hour I spent months ago talking to my one confirmation student about how Jesus was brown-skinned because she is too and she probably would have figured this out eventually. 
I don't feel like God has forsaken me because I do not believe that is in God's nature. God doesn't contradict God's self. 
So the reality, then, is that too many of the people who said they were on God's side turned out not to be on the side of God's people. Too many people sang, "Jesus loves the little children" and mentally added a chorus, "But I don't have to". Too many people are willing to make excuses for racism, inequity, inequality, and persistent divisions. 
I want to swear right here because even Yale didn't provide me with enough adjectives to cover this situation. 
Why do I still give a damn? Why did I spend the day re-writing Sunday's service? Why have I prayed for guidance? Why do I think that anything I say or do will matter in the slightest?
Because Ruth the Moabite was faithful to Naomi the Israelite. Ruth's faithfulness to her mother-in-law of a different race was the conclusion (generations later) to the inhospitality of Sodom and Gomorrah. Ruth's patience, openness, and dedication gave way to the lineage that would lead to Jesus, by way of David.
Maybe I could be like Ruth. Or maybe this is a generation of inhospitality and, please God, I am among those who are struggling against that tide. 
Nevertheless, God does bring good. If I have come to receive grace, and not in vain, then I am not able to leave the work of reconciliation. 
-- Sigh --
Because it's not about me, it is about Christ- I continue on. Yes, and I ask God to help and guide me.

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