The very last thing in the world I have wanted is for this writing space to become a place of quasi-political ranting. Who needs more of that, right?
Besides, I’m ridiculously emotional and thin-skinned when it comes to criticism and I don’t think I have the guts to take the virtual sucker punches being doled out left and right by people who don’t seem to care either way— they just like to punch.
However, I do know the need to obey the Holy Spirit’s nudge telling me to speak up and write out some of the the wrongs I see today. Even though it seems like nobody is really listening….really hearing anymore— it matters enough to at least take a stand. What’s the point in “playing it safe” anyway?
For that matter….what’s safe?
Explain “safe” in the eyes of at least one dear Christian woman I know who sends all four of her sons out in shifts to wear a uniform and a badge in a world that has become increasingly hostile towards them simply because they wear a uniform and badge.
Because someone on the side of evil—not justice— said it was ok and others mindlessly decided to listen. These brave and godly men know the risks. Their wives and family know it too. And tonight, their momma knows the power of prayer and how the safety of their souls rests in the capable hands of their Savior. There, she knows, they are truly safe.
This is the part of the writing where I ought to insert a deep and meaningful quote on safe-ness and somehow draw the conversation around to the ideal safety we should be working towards versus the ridiculous place as a society we’ve wandered into. However, I don’t believe that safety has ever been a reasonable ideal at any point in Christian living.
Truth be told: the need for perceived safety has often led to compromises largely responsible for the upside-down confusion we find ourselves living with today. Little by little, we’ve given away valuable territory in our gospel, thinking we were being tolerant and wise “peace makers” until now, the joke’s on us when we try to talk about “right and wrong” and bring value and meaning to the larger conversations.
The sad fact is that while Rome is burning, the people in charge of making the rules have been fiddling around with definitions and modifiers for relationships they only inherited —they didn’t create—leaving large gaps where the unchanging truth of God should be.
As a result, anarchy has taken root in the underbelly of every institution and is slowly creeping into every crevice of our society. It ought to terrify us. Instead we seem more concerned with what Miley wore last night, whether or not the stock market is going to hold up or if having a Trump card in our back pocket will save us all.
We can point “out there” at the barbarism of ISIS or where people are treating one another like animals and leaders are barrel-bombing their own people while other countries have shut their borders against the ones who’ve manage to escape or avoid dying along the way.
We don’t have to care too much because at least it’s not happening here. Or is it?
It’s all so very real and getting closer all the time. There’s been a quiet erosion of all our stabilizing foundations to such a degree that when it finally collapses around our ankles, stunned we’ll be looking for someone to blame until we realize we might have been the ones who looked the other way
when the babies were murdered
and injustices took place
and the mobs burned down the towns
and the officers were gunned down like nameless, faceless animals
because someone said it was open season.
We’ll wonder how the enemy got in so close and so fast while nobody was looking because we’d forgotten how we were told that a house, a people and a nation divided against itself Can. Not. Stand.
Oh we’ve got our hashtags. #BlackLivesMatter. #PoliceLives Matter. #EverythingMatters. Texas Sherrif Ron Hickman dared to say we needed to drop the qualifiers and simply recognize that #LivesMatter and take that to the bank. Maybe. It’s a start but divorced from the Source, what’s a life anyway?
How can ANYTHING or ANYONE matter at all if God is taken out of the equation? How can any life matter if the One who gives meaning, definition and validity to all of life is removed from the picture?
How can we be enraged over injustice if justice is a fluid concept based on who gets to define right and wrong, life and death, valuable or worthless?
Life only matters when it’s anchored to something solid and unchanging… Someone outside, beyond and bigger than ourselves Who imparts His unchanging meaning and value to all of creation. Otherwise…value? Meaning? It’s all subjective and dependent upon the mood of the moment.
The problem is not somewhere “out there”…. Its right here, in our own hearts where we’ve gotten disconnected from the foundational, unchanging Truth of God thinking we were liberating and expressing our souls freely.
In his essay, The Portrait of a Soul, Ravi Zacharias expresses this place of disconnect so well:
“Today we find a limitless capacity to raise the question of evil as we see it outside ourselves, but often hold an equal unwillingness to address the evil within us. I once sat on the top floor of a huge corporate building owned by a very successful businessman. Our entire conversation revolved around his reason for unbelief: that there was so much darkness and corruption in this world and a seemingly silent God. Suddenly interrupting the dialogue, a friend of mine said to him, “Since evil troubles you so much, I would be curious to know what you have done with the evil you see within you.” There was red-faced silence.”
Oh, I know— in so many ways, I’m preaching to the choir here. Most folks who read here do believe that God created the heavens and the earth and believe in His unchanging holiness and love. Your hearts are burdened like mine in all the right ways for most of the right reasons. We do falter and occasionally we fall but, praise Jesus— we know how to get back up and where to stand.
The problem is only that maybe we’re just way too quiet about it all.
We’ve got our Jesus-ticket to heaven and that’s enough.
We’re just sitting down and waiting out the storm…
trying to play it safe when really— there’s no such thing.
Here and now, for such a time as this and as the ones here to serve God in our generation, we’ve got to live out loud, get our hands dirty, bare our beating and bleeding hearts to our dying neighbors and live like we really believe what we say we believe— joyful and strong in such a way that shows we know Who and What really matters…and most importantly, why.
Otherwise… what really matters?