Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Search for Redemption Continues

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding* him and saying, Are you not the Messiah?* Save yourself and us! 40But the other rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. 42Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into* your kingdom. (Luke 23:39-42 NRSV)

So here we are again, a humiliating and meaningless death orchestrated through subtle forces of coercion and manipulation. The victim: An innocent bystander, who, through being who God intended him to be, became confrontational to the systems of oppression built on assumption and fear. The threat: A perceived and misunderstood phantom of fear’s construction. The action: Unwarranted but final, forceful but empty and seemingly hopeless yet filled promise for greater opportunity.

The actions of George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police department, (and more importantly the murder of Trayvon Martin), has caused many in our society to reflect on all matters concerning race, to jurisprudence to proper attire for minority males (see Melissa Harris-Perry and Geraldo Rivera). While these critiques are good at channeling the continual refrain of equality and fairness under the law, they merely renew the same debates and issues of the last 150 years of racial inequality. That does not at all mean that this is not an effective means of redress in society. It doesnt always account for the critical analysis of the theo-logic in light of the socio-political structures present in society.

I too, am driven to careful reflection and critique in light of the violence in Florida almost a month ago. Although I must admit, my reflection is specifically unique in the course of discussions surrounding this gross miscarriage of justice. In light of the Lenten and Easter seasons, I am led to reflect on power of death and the theological meaning for social change. Out of the many billions of folks who have died, there are some deaths that fundamentally redefine the way we exist in the world. I believe Trayvon is one of them, but by no means the first.

Most of our modern perspectives on death and dying are rooted in fear. The most heinous of deaths is any murder: the killing of another (the law would add: with intent). From the so-called first murder of Abel in Genesis to the present, the act of murder displays one of humanity’s greatest sins toward our neighbors. So often, murder is completed fear and hatred towards each other, it is hatred’s ultimate end. Civilizations the world over (including many religious and Christian civilizations), have sought to contextualize and sanitize this scandalous and perverse act. Murder for soldiers in time of war is a crime but killing the combatant enemy isn’t murder. Killing in self-defense is appropriate under certain criteria (depending on the state you live in and whether or not you pursue your assailant are both mitigating circumstances). God throughout the bible coexists in the world between “Thou shall not…” and “Go and take the land and …”, both of which are at odds with the other. The biblical mandate seems to be static and unchangeable both in Genesis and in the Mosaic covenant in the Ten Commandments. Yet, the heart of the Christian narrative centers on……..murder.

The death of Christ is an innocent man’s death according to orthodox Christian teaching. A man, who is without any error, is convicted of crimes he did not commit. Given a swift and biased trial, he is summarily executed. By any definition, the death of an innocent person by the hand of another is murder. Christians interpret the death of Christ as something greater and much more profound than any of the contemporaries of Jesus’ time would have thought. The thief’s confession at Jesus’ side, (as well as the mocking thief) acknowledges the truth of the moment: an innocent man has died. The truth goes deeper: an innocent man has died and we are complicit in his death and need his forgiveness. The mocking crowd and thief remind us of the power of fear and coercion in moments of murder. This scene is very much like the arguments being offered today trying to find justification for the unjustifiable. Despite the horror of the moment, it isn’t until after his death (and resurrection) that Christians like Paul would appreciate the theological significance of Christ’s death as being the Good humanity would need to be in right relationship with God. And it is only because of that death, that we even come to know of the life of the man who changed all of history.  The Gospels and the church are written and founded upon the confession, Jesus is Lord! but only after he is murdered.

Regardless of this divine truth, the crux of the Christian narrative is problematic in a violent and murderous world. The faith in Christ’s death is mysteriously redemptive for all of creation: this is the spiritual claim that asserts primacy over the graphic horror of an innocent man’s death. His death is like ours but doesn’t mean the same thing. His life was similar to ours but cannot be understood in the same way. These contradictions are at the heart of the Christian faith, despite the fact that the murder of innocents is still very much a part of our life today. If the work of Christ is efficacious for us in the modern time, then there must be a greater purpose to the death of innocents in the present, after the death of the Innocent One? In other words, how can we redeem the lives of the innocents who are murdered in our present day?

The challenge for us as Christians is to see the redemptive power of the deaths of the innocent in the larger sweep of Universal Justice. Troy Davis, Medger Evers, Shaima Alawadi, Matthew Shepherd, Sean Bell and Trayvon Martin are just some of the innocents who were murdered. I am sure there are countless others, who we will never know. We have labeled their deaths as  ‘meaningless deaths’. Meaningless because they didn’t have to die or their deaths were so outrageous that their meaning was totally indefensible. Yet I challenge all of us to rethink our use of a ‘meaningless death’. The value of every life is sacred and immeasurable. The loss of anyone in this world, particularly to the act of murder, cannot be measured by the mere act of the death itself. The power of the singular moment of Christ’s death is the beginning of understanding the power of Christ in totem. His power, (unleashed at his death) is to impart life and change in the world through understanding his life. This death is not just one that sets him free but then convicts the systems and stagnancy of the world. It demands and cries out for redemption and change in the world.

I believe the power of Trayvon’s life should be interpreted through this same lens.  In the immediacy of his death we search for justice and to date, have found it lacking. Yet, this search and the search for all of the countless relatives of the innocents still call us to be better and do better. Their deaths are not meaningless, they are tragedies of the first order, but every life is meaningful. The truth of the Trayvon Martin case and many of the other innocents is to call us to seek our redemption. We have to be and do better than we are, lest we (in the words of Paul) crucify them afresh.

Redemption means recognizing the power of the life force in all of us and abandoning the categorization of murder and fear. It means living with divine justice and mercy as realities and not relativistic ideals. Redemption means seeking forgiveness from the innocents as the thief does in the passage. The change this redemption brings means no one should have the power George Zimmerman had that February night. Redemptive change means no state, no nation; no human principality has the power to murder. It is too great a risk to take the innocent with guilty, even though it still takes place. Yet even then, God is able to bring purpose to our idiocy; to bring hope to our fears; and bring peace to our chaos. It isn’t until we choose redemption that the twisted irony of a macabre day of death can be called ‘Good Friday.’

Recognizing that life and death have meaning and purpose in God’s creation is the first step to this redemptive life. Sadly the completion of this reality may still be a ways off. Yet, the vision of truth can be closer in our sight if we choose to search for it now, before another innocent dies

SELAH

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Discipleship, Hope, Interpersonal Relationships, Justice, New Testament, Political Theology, Redemption, Trayvon Martin, Uncategorized, War

An Inconvenient Truth…

The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading. (Lamentations 2:14, NIV)

Some years ago we were all informed (or misled depending on your view) about the importance and significance of the effects of global warming in our world. Led by former Vice President Al Gore, the work of the documentary centered on providing obvious and direct evidence to the fight against global climate change and its effect on our way of life. The title “Inconvenient Truth”, reflected in part the obvious nature of the change in climate and our full willingness to ignore the signs and implications the movies brought to the forefront. The reaction to the movie further substantiated the title of the movie.

The reality is that this title is very much an existential statement as much as it is a catchy title. The life shaping and life defining moments in our lives are often outlined through ‘inconvenient truths.’ These are the kinds of truths that we know instinctively yet do not enact because it cost too much to our personhood to change. Inconvenient truths disturb us and tell us that everything is not okay and the reality we painted for ourselves is frankly…….false. They are experienced in relationships when we’ve already known for sometime that a relationship is not good for us and yet we remain forconvenience and safety instead of doing what we know to be healthy and fruitful. They are experienced in daily economic decisions when we knowingly make decisions that cost us more in the long-term (and the short-term) just to satisfy an immediate desire. Inconvenient truths are present in all our lives and nag at our very being while we do everything we can to ignore it and get rid of it. That is why it is inconvenient.

In the past few weeks, we as nation exposed two very basic inconvenient truths. These truths have been with this country for a very long time and yet we have done what all people and nations do when faced with inconvenient truths….hide from them. The reality of war is the first truth; not just war but all that goes along with it. Specifically, that war is more than ugly it is horrific and its effects last for generations. This first ignored truth is personified through the life of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales and the shooting of 16 civilians (if unfamiliar, see here). Regardless of your view of the soldier and national policies of defense, the inconvenient truth sheds light on something that has always existed and that we have attempted to redefine. General W. Tecumseh Sherman once  said “War is Hell”, and how right he was. General Sherman’s sentiment was as much true in the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War as it is true in our present day. The reality of this hell is not altered by the use of drone airstrikes, precision guided bombs and surgical strike teams. The images and memories of war live as much with the soldiers and “enemies” alike.  Lives are taken and psyches altered permanently. We can ignore it and convince ourselves of alternate stories, but truth’s inconvenience will always rear its head, usually at the most inconvenient moment.

 

The second inconvenient truth deals with the failings of our “more perfect union”: we exist as a divided society. This division is along three simple lines: sexuality(to include gender), class and race.  Any one of these in any society is divisive and causes a great deal of tension. In the US, all three of these are of great consternation and problematic for the one who exists in any (or all) of these categories in opposition to defined ‘norms’. The sad part is that most Americans have convinced themselves that we do not have a race or class problem, and that women, gay, lesbian and transgender persons can all co-exists in harmony.  In the face of the hallucinogen of American Exceptionalism, there are moments of inconvenience that show that all is not well in Oz.

The violence toward gay, lesbian and transgender persons all belie our challenges with equality of sexual identity. The political climate of constantly legislating women’s reproductive health as well as the basic disparity of pay for women reveal the failure of male dominated systems (of thinking and of industry) to recognize the power men enjoy. The killing of Trayvon Martin is another instance in the long horrific history of racial prejudice and fear in the United States. The last event in particular is egregious and outrageous. Read the following account by ABC NEWS:

“Martin, a black high-school junior, was making his way home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea on Feb. 26 when George Zimmerman spotted him, called a non-emergency dispatch number to report Martin looked intoxicated, followed him, and then minutes later after an altercation, shot him.

Zimmerman, 28, who is white, claimed self defense. 

The night of Feb. 26, Zimmerman made a non-emergency call to police before fatally shooting Martin, in which he told a dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something.”

(ABC NEWS full cited story here)

This teenager, (a high-schooler) is murdered because of fear and gross prejudice. Mr. Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty, but that is only if he is ever placed in the  criminal justice system. To date he has not been investigated for murder. Self-defense killings (not that this was) is still a murder. Lives are taken and psyches altered…….permanently. Trayvon Martin is not the first to die and his family is not the first to grieve because of the reality of racism in a country that continually redefines reality. I am also afraid that he will not be the last. 

We wonder why many in our society are so quick to “play the race card”……Because it is reality. This is not a game, it is an inconvenient truth. The fact that we are so quick to do nation building, KONY 2012 and all of the other novelties point to level of inconvenience that race generates in our country. Even if we conveniently elect an African-American President.  The failure of anyone in law enforcement to conduct a proper homicide investigation and seek justice for all parties belies the level to which race is so much a guiding factor in our social mores and normative behaviors. Yet, we believe that if we continue the mantra of equality then speaking will make it so. Hardly….

Selah….

 

As Jeremiah does in the passage from Lamentations, inconvenient truths unabashedly show the reality of the world. Jeremiah speaks after the fall of Jerusalem reminding them of the failure of convenience in conveying the truth of their situation. As a prophet, his message of destruction was consistent and in opposition to all the other prophets who spoke words of comfort and hope- a convenient portrayal that denied the truth of their situation. How things have changed…… not so much?!

Ultimately though, Jeremiah’s message and admonition discloses an even greater reality- inconvenient truths are Divine. They are messages and moments given by the Divine to the created. They are the Divine in us calling us to be the image of God in creation, bringing us to account. They are the moments that call us to be greater than our choices. These moments are the  God-moments that speak to our souls and offer us a different way. Thank God for Inconvenient Truths

The sin is that so often we think it too hard to live into that Divine  reality. Yet, if we believe the God who so often interrupts, then surely this same God’s reality (no matter when and how it comes) is attainable, if only in part.  After all, visions of truth are so often inconvenient to their visionaries…….

Comments Off on An Inconvenient Truth…

Filed under Christianity, Discipleship, Hope, Old Testament, Political Theology, Prophetic Accountability, Sacred Memory, Social Justice, Trayvon Martin, War

THE WAY 2012

Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. (Matthew 21:23, 45, 46 NIV)

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. (Matthew 22:15 NIV)

By now, the work of Jason Russell and Ben Keesey’s viral video ‘KONY 2012’ has become common topic of discussion at water coolers across the globe. If you have not yet seen the video, you can check it out here. Nonetheless the riveting docudrama detailing the carnage and violence of the longtime Northern Ugandan separatist movement known as the Lord’s Rebel Army (LRA), headed by warlord separatist Joseph Kony. The stated goal of the KONY 2012 video is to “make Jospeh Kony famous” and bring a level of awareness to the world about the violence and destruction that has been wrought by the LRA on Ugandan children and the nation as a whole. The larger non-profit Invisible Children is the brain child of Russell and Keesey  to effectuate the larger goal “stopping” Joseph Kony. For more non-partisan information on the LRA and Uganda, click here.

There has been much conversation and debate about the strategy, organization and management of Invisible Children as well as the naiveté of the filmmaker’s method of bringing light to the plight of the victims of the LRA. Some critics are adamant in their rejection of the neocolonial perspectives while others are fiercely opposed to making a warlord ‘famous’. Some critics dislike that a white man (Jason Russell) records the video (along with his son) with naive excitement and very basic language about a complex African civil war. Other critics abhor the tactics of fundraising on the backs of the child victims of the LRA and making war famous. There are competing videos, op-eds, columns, interviews and speeches that use a multi-fold method of attack to undermine the work of Invisible Children and/or the film (or both). The global nature of our communication means that even citizens of Uganda have heard of the movement and stand at odds with the film and filmmakers, for a whole host of reasons. While there are several factual errors in their video (location of Uganda, and the current whereabouts of Joseph Kony to name a few), there is an inherent truth to what the video is attempting to communicate. Nor am I going to take factual cues from a YouTube video……period!

I am in favor of the campaign to bring global attention to the plight of the children of Uganda. (I am in favor of bringing light to any of the dark and hidden places of death and destruction in order to bring change). I think the work of Invisible Children and its video serve a noble cause to make the world a more livable place. This blog post is not about validating or defending the work of Invisible Children (there are plenty of places you can get that information). Instead, I write to offer a parsing of the criticism and opposition that has permeated the world’s response to this movement.

I am awestruck at the vehement opposition to the burgeoning KONY 2012 movement. I am puzzled at the nature and theme of the critics and the nature of their criticism. My sole introduction to the movement came from a college-age member of my congregation messaging me with the video and exaltation to “watch and take action”. They also expressed that they were going to begin a chapter of the movement at their college. A day later, that same member of my congregation was confronted with the critics and exposé of the work of Russell and Keesey. Specifically, a movement that took hold in the last two weeks has now incurred the ire of journalists, governments, politicians and a whole host of citizenry around the globe.   The criticisms do not seem to address the merit of what the video seeks to do….. simply inform. Every comment begins with, “while I agree with the idea, the method…”

I see the heart of the criticism as ultimately the critique of an anti-establishment movement by the institutional structures of established-driven societies. That is to say, in many of our societies, credibility is only given to the agency of institutional prerogatives. If a group wants to offer systemic change in the world, they need to use established and generally acceptable means to promote change. Any activity or movement that doesn’t jive with established practices of fairness, reporting, political correctness or narrowly construed definitions of equality is discredited as suspect, flawed and/or downright fraudulent. In religious contexts these movements are unorthodox and blasphemous and cause all sorts of consternation for the practitioners, managers and conveyors of the institutions of societal orthodoxy.

The institutional resistance to this new movement reminds me of similar resistance to the effects of a first century movement in Palestine that was just as anti-establishment as this one is in the 21st century. The gospel of Matthew highlights the direct confrontation with the institutional systems of Jesus’ time and context. In fact, that confrontation lasts until the end of the gospel. The movement that Jesus has started and nourished challenges everything the invested structures of society hold sacred. Jewish Law, Roman law, cultural expectations and traditions, and all of the institutions that manage those structures get challenged in the face of Jesus’ movement. By the time he enters Jerusalem in this 21st chapter, Jesus gets quizzed and cornered at every turn. In many respects Jerusalem is the epitome of the Judean institutions of governance and societal norms. Here, Pharisees and Sadducees, Centurion and Gentile, all commingle to highlight the supremacy of institutional authority in Judea.

Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem comes while every aspect of his being, (his parentage to his motivation to his methods) is questioned in an attempt to discredit his authenticity and his movement. Matthew intentionally portrays this systemic rejection as the culminating acts of Christ’s redemptive work. Using the institutional means of ‘authentication’, the representatives of institutional power (Pharisees, Sadducees, Governor Pilate) are all shown finding ways to debunk and undermine Jesus and his followers.

Yet, there is hope in that this movement is anti-establishment   (specifically, counterestablishment). Jesus builds a movement from the institutional ‘rejects’ and the ignored persons in the society. The people who institutions invest in ignoring are the very people who follow The Way. The work of the Christ here creates a new way of being that forces the structures of institutionality to confront the people, issues and challenges they have ignored. Therein is Christ’s Judgement, not that he has to say anything, but our reaction to the moment seals our verdict.

Invisible Children is not a religious movement, but a movement nonetheless. The power of this movement is found in the very thing the institutions of the present age use to move any of us, social media, video, campaigning and word of mouth. The reality is that the movement’s work forces governments, societies, churches, and all of the other structures of institutionality to face their failures. It hurts us to be reminded of the inaction in the genocides of Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia and others. It is convicting to be confronted with where you have failed the children Liberia, Sudan, Myanmar and the war-torn countries of the world. The KONY 2012 movement conjures up those images and those emotions all over again.

This 21st century movement has rallied a generation that institutions labeled as ‘lazy’ and ‘ineffectual’. A people, No! A generation is on the move and looking to change the world for the better. And so, like the Pharisees of the Matthean corpus, (and like all other generations that seek counter-establishment ways of changing the world), we too reject this movement. Our rejection is damning more for what it says about us, then what it says about  Invisible Children. We use our disdain of the counter-establishment methods of a grassroots movement to justify our inaction and dismiss the willingness of a few to change the world.

The source of my anger lies in the fact that Invisible Children shouldn’t be the group that is ferreting warlords and war criminals out of their hiding places. Non-profits are not theologically equipped to face the suffering humanity in all parts of the world. There has long since been a movement in the world that is the anti-normative and be counter to the status quo in any age. It started in the gospels long ago and flourished to change a world of institutional ways of being into a world of abundant living. The vehicle for social and communal change is the church. It is the Christian church that speaks truth to the powers of the world. It is the Christian church that has the audacity to be hopeful that societies and people can change and justice for the oppressed is still possible.

For far too long, the church has turned a blind eye to oppressive governments and corrupting influences that cause simple situations (food, shelter and protection) to devolve into complex political cultures (civil war, economic stagnancy, famine, and the like). Sadly, the church is the establishment and often partners to exclude and reject the very people who it is called to find and affirm. Many times we the church, and the society, define the truth through the lens of protectionism and past hurts. Out of fear we seek not to speak about the things of the world that need speaking on. From places of hurt we modify our speech to the point of nullifying our prophetic witness in the world.

My vision of truth finds the church and our society willfully seeing the glimpse of truth others see in our world. #THEWAY 2012

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Gosepls, Jesus Christ, Prophetic Accountability, War

A Tongue That Brings Life…

 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4 NRSV)

The way we communicate in our society is the subject of rapid change. E-communications, social media and texting are ways in which the contextual power of conversing is quickly disappearing from our discourse. As human beings, we are social creatures that derive real meaning by looking your conversation partner in the eye. Hand gestures, tone and inflection, speed and volume all help to define the emotional mindset in which the communication takes place. Most of the contextual concerns responsible for effective communication are evaporating as a result of the changes in our modes of communication.

Despite the changes in our means and modes of communication, the one aspect not affected in our interpersonal relations is the power of our words. Words are central to the way in which our messages get understood by our conversational partners. Words provide meaning to our gestures and define our contextual moments with clarity. Words so often can belie the true meaning of our actions and deeds (or create a false image of those deeds). Our words are still powerful and still affect people’s understanding of situations and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Whether we are texting, emailing or posting to a social media site, our words serve to communicate the message we intend. Excluding autocorrect mistakes of course…

In recent weeks, the power of words and the abuse of the power of speech figured prominently in our culture. This past week in our public discourse: a woman who offered a coherent defense on a partisan issue was called a ‘slut’; the trial of a man charged with video taping his roommate having an intimate encounter with the same-sex began in New Jersey; and a shooting took place in a suburban Cleveland high school in which three students were killed and an entire community was shaken to its core. I submit to you that the power of words and their effect on people’s actions were at work in each of these situations.

The power of words in our culture is something that we as Americans have taken for granted. People say and use words without understanding the etymology or proper context for using the words they choose. To most of our society, the many billions of words that are a part of daily communication is only necessary to get our points across. Yet inflammatory, abusive, and oppressive language serves to inflict harm and cause pain for the recipients of this communication. Such was the case of Rush Limbaugh’s tirade against Sandra Fluke seen here. There is no need to raise the level of vitriolic language other than to relay some dastardly belief about Ms. Fluke’s intentions or inference about her testimony. Mr. Limbaugh is a smart entertainer who is in the business of choosing his words carefully, yet he time and again uses rhetoric that demeans and destroys.

This is the same behavior that is symptomatic of the bullying epidemic in our nation. Rumors initially swirled about whether or not TJ Lane was the victim of bullying. TJ is the gunman from the Chardon High School shooting last Monday in Geauga County, Ohio. The fact that victims were targeted at random does not take away the fact that violence ALWAYS begets more violence when left unchecked. TJ was exposed to violence at some point in his life and it has been accepted as part of public discourse and behavior. Whether or not the rumors are true, there are still thousands of other victims of a bullying that begins with language that devalues and undermines personhood. These words almost always lead to an escalation in interaction that eventually cause physical harm for any of the parties involved.

The case of Rutger’s University student Tyler Clementi’s suicide is the textbook completion of the effects of derisive language. Specifically, the bullying and devaluing language for Tyler turned into demeaning and humiliating acts that resulted in his roommate secretly videotaping a romantic encounter of Clementi and his male partner. The case began this week and will undoubtedly show the effects of acts, deed and words that demean and question the being of another. It is despicable and inhumane behavior that has its ultimate source in how we speak to (and about) one another.

Credit: CrossPoint Church

The writer of Proverbs offers us a profound insight into the power of speech in our lives. Here in a chapter dealing with outward expression and discipline, the writer succinctly articulates the power of the tongue. While a mere tool for human communication, the tongue (says the writer) can either give life or “break the spirit”. Like the writer, we know this not as an existential truth but we come to know this wisdom simply because of our own experience. We have known someone to speak words of encouragement and enliven our very soul. We know people that uplift with a simple few words and encourage the greatest pessimist to find an ‘uncloudy’ day.  Conversely, we have had people say things that disturb our being for decades. Bitter and mean-spirited speech has often come out of our own mouths as towards people who are mean toward us. The tongue that is ‘perverse’ (an intentional use toward a dubious end), upend the life of the soul and disturbs the life force of the person. Certain populations of African-Americans and the incessant use of the word ‘nigger’ as well as  some women (and men) using ‘bitch‘ and ‘ho‘ to describe one another, are roaring examples of how our tongues have become undisciplined and our speech is perverse. So often the societal norm is for our tongues to be perverted in our emails, texts and everyday communication. The writer of Proverbs forecasts that this speech only leads to our destruction in the end.

The epidemic of bullying and child suicides tells us that words do hurt. People are affected by what is said about them. The old adage of “sticks and stones…” is simply not true. The writer of Proverbs makes that clear, names do hurt and trite rhymes to offer coping mechanisms do not alter the pain to the psyche. The events of the last week highlight the truth of that kind of hurt. So often what we say is born on our bodies and by our children and in our psyche. Add to this the modern effect of ‘sightless’ conversations in the age of e-communications and the effects are the interpersonal equivalent of precision guided bombs in warfare. Without any context or immediate sensory feedback from the wounded party, we don’t have to endure the pain of having to live with our disappointment in hurting someone. We can inflict real hurt and fain ignorance as to the effects of that pain. But it doesnt change the truth of a broken spirit

Whether its religious, political or even simple entertainment, the way we talk to each other has devolved into barely respectable speech. My vision of truth this week is to check my tongue and renew the life-giving power that I have therein. For speaking life is the first step toward bringing abundant life into the world. Reading Links…

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Discipleship, Interpersonal Relationships, Old Testament, Prophetic Accountability