We keep making them, monumental mistakes and I’m not just talking about statues. However,when it comes to some of those sacred symbols of history, we bet on the wrong horse. We put our money on clay-footed folks, instead of on the horses. W.C.Fields put it another way. “Horse sense is the thing a horse has that keeps it from betting on people.” But that gives me pause. God, creator of humans and horses, for no earthly reason, keeps betting on us, so to speak. You’d think by now God would’ve given up on us. Especially since some of us keep committing our worst crimes against humanity under the guise of religion or in God’s name.
Take for instance, white supremacy or “white power” which made the news this week, shouted from the pinnacle of a golf cart. Thankfully, history hasn’t totally white-washed how some invoked God’s name or wielded the Bible like a weapon to maintain control. And some still do.
By now, you’re probably ready to stop reading, sick and tired of hearing what’s gone wrong and what needs fixing. Me, too. And that’s exactly what some are counting on. They’re hopeful we’ll have the attention span of a fruit fly and crawl back into our cocoon of choice. Some want us to believe, if we’ll just go about business as usual or sit tight, the storm will pass.
But the problem isn’t going away unless we, who’ve fanned the flames, wielded the power, repent and turn away from ways that dishonor God and all creation. Change in us or in society takes want to and how to. Too many of us are still making golden calves, tossing our baubles into cauldrons to be fashioned into our god-du-jour. Way- back- when is still happening. This feels familiar. “They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass.”(Psalm 106:20) What am I exchanging for some bull?
We who call ourselves Christians need to ask who and what we really fear? What is a seat on the Supreme Court worth? When did wearing a mask become political instead of caring? How much do Black Lives Matter? Annie Dillard in reference to us church-folks wrote in Teaching a Stone to Talk, “Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we blithely invoke? Annie goes on to say that instead of wearing our fancy hats to church, “we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares…” Why? Lest God show up, the one some of us mistakenly think might be tickled pink to see the Bible in a photo op as proof we’re a “Christian” nation.
So now what? As troubled as I am about much in our country, in the “evangelical” world and in myself, I believe we have a sacred opportunity, a monumental moment in which to choose better ways of doing business, caring for others, telling the truth, tearing down false idols, teaching and living out God’s greatest commandments, “To Love God and our neighbors as ourselves.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Tomorrow is July 4th, the day we honor our national independence. The other day, I heard my son-in-love, Matt ( a public health doctor) talk about celebrating our interdependence, in battling this pandemic and systemic racism. We need each other and the God who created us in all colors and “God saw all that he had made and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31 )
I heard it more than once, “It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.”
And God just might want to capture in living color His kids doing something hard but so “very good.”
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