Some thoughts from my friend, Pastor Tim Krick:
“On this Martin Luther King Jr. day, I am tempted to put a quote of his as my post. By doing so, I would hope it might shed a bit more light and love in this world that so desperately needs it. In the end, it is just a quote and tomorrow will be replaced by a picture of my food, or a complaint about the weather. Perhaps, that is the problem. We acknowledge that something is not right but then we do not do the work to change it. We name it and move on. I hope we can all agree the world is not the way it could or should be. People are discriminated against and treated differently and unfairly, not just because of the color of their skin, but for a host of other reasons. Maybe they love someone who others believe they shouldn’t. Perhaps they worship in the wrong place or they don’t worship at all. They are to tall, or to short. Maybe they have weight issues. We treat others differently because they went to the “other school” or cheer for the “other” team. We are good at coming up with ways to divide humanity up. Instead of putting a quote up, (and there is nothing wrong if you did) I am going to own my role in it all.
I admit, that even though I acknowledge the need for change, I am content with the slow process that is taking place because I am not affected in ways that others are affected. I am content with the status quo because it benefits me. I am sorry for it. I will try and be better and I ask for your help. Perhaps we can help each other.”
PTK – 1/16/2017
I resonate with Tim’s thoughts today. Sometimes a friend says it better than you can say it yourself. Thanks Tim for your openness and your friendship. I hope that we will help each other this day and well beyond it. The world needs more of us standing together. I hope you, the reader will join us.
Here are my thoughts after reading Tim’s reflection:
If there is anything to be certain of in an uncertain world; it is that there are many people hurting. In the last few years I have become more and more aware that my white, middle-class privilege has allowed me to look the other way, or play it safe too easily, or worry too much about my own well-being than others, or think about my status among people that pay my salary, than to do the “costly thing” the cross of Jesus demands of me (as Bonhoeffer put it so eloquently in his classic book: The Cost of Discipleship).
For my lack of courage, please forgive me dear Jesus.
I also relate to the thought that with so many things vying for our attention in our fast-paced digital world (food posts among them) it is easy to get distracted, to move on, to lose focus, direction and purpose. When Jesus said, “when you did (or didn’t do) for the least of these you did (or didn’t do) it to me” he meant it. I take these words to heart. He admonished the busy ones who pass by on the other side while the outsider tended to the one in need. Too often I find myself as one of the passersby.
For my inattention, please forgive me dear Jesus.
Lastly, I too feel overwhelmed by the divisions among us – political, economic, religious, cultural, geographical, lingual and others. I’m not stirred by those who feed on these distinctions to either stoke the fire or gain status for themselves; I simply feel defeated. It is not the difference of perspective or opinion that makes me angry in this polarized world; it is the self-loathing that comes from feeling so perpetually inept.
For my human frailty, I also confess, please forgive me dear Jesus.
And yet I look to people like Dr. King and Dr. Bonhoeffer on days like today and find some hope and inspiration. They must have felt the way I do too. Somewhere and somehow the Spirit gave them courage. Somewhere and somehow their faith gave them focus. Somewhere and somehow, the brokenness of the cross became for these men (and so many others through the ages like them) not a confirmation of their own frailty and defeat, but a promise of new life ushering in a new way of being and living. So they got up and got to work – even when they couldn’t see the next step in front of them. We can too.
Dearest Father, grant me courage.
Dearest Jesus, bring your light.
Dearest Spirit, come and move mountains.
On this shaky ground, grant me the tools and the footing to climb to the summit without fear of falling. AMEN