Stop Pretending

Saturday morning I sat in a beautiful park overlooking Charleston harbor amongst beautiful oaks, homes and sunlight and prayer.  Just after sunrise we started the day with prayer for our fair city, and we wept and read, and it was amazing.

What did I get out it, you ask? (If you didn’t ask, I’m going to ramble anyway.)

I sat looking at that beautiful harbor and those fantastic larger-than-life antebellum abodes, and all i could think about was slavery. What was it like to be a woman and see all of those ships filing into the harbor, and to know your own lifestyle was tended to by people who had no choice but to do the work for you. How would I just ignore that pain?

Standing on a piazza then, looking out on the busy harbor, how did they live with the lie it was all fine?

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

-James 2:14-17

God said to me in that moment that I would have ignored it.  I would have looked away from the devastating human condition all around us.  Just like the way we look the other way when there is someone begging for food beside us at the red light- the way anyone ignores the family rift at Thanksgiving dinner, the way we don’t talk to that friend with the substance problem about what’s going on, the way we don’t know what to say to the friend whose marriages is falling apart so we say nothing at all.

At what point does our imitation ignorance of a situation make us culpable in it? If we ignore the Spirit’s telling us to move, at what point does He give up on using us?

Our savior literally DIED for us and our crappy decisions and we can’t even ask each other real questions for fear of making someone uncomfortable.  We also have no idea how to call for help ourselves when our marriages are falling apart right up until someone walks out the door. We would rather die than face the real problems or confess our sins to the Creator who can truly save us.

So, just like those antebellum women, we get up and dress and put on a smile and ignore the wailing and gnashing of teeth happening outside our doors.

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