Flights of Faith

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bold Speech: Why Our Love Must Be Active and Vocal

It is morning. I am sitting here juggling texts. One is 'Flirting with Monasticism.' Another, an article about a white family raising interracial kids. I followed a link from there to another article by the same author detailing the journey of grief and recovery from her son's suicide. Lastly, I visited the website of To Write Love on Her Arms and read a blog post. (This post will make more sense if you visit some of these links.)

I picked up 'Monasticism' because I am interested in growing closer with God through prayer. I thought it was about the integration of monastic practices in one's life. Instead, it is the true story of a woman learning more about these communities through God's leading and her crush on someone preparing to be part of the Dominican order. Yea, so not what I thought. At all. And yes, I'm still reading.

My thoughts are far from that text though. I'm thinking of Gabriel, the one not with us. I am thinking of a half-white, half-Tanzanian child that a woman kept after the deception of a relationship became clear. He was born as a survivor. We all are, I guess. I am thinking of his name, wondering what messages his life had for all of us. I guess it carries a message now too. It does.

However, it is not alive. He is not alive. He is dead. And why?

We'll never truly know, but we can wonder. Maybe the answer is between the articles, the long silence that cries out. Unfortunately, death and race are not separate endeavors. Racism - not the physical difference between skin colors but a lived reality of difference felt in our psyche - played a part. That Christian college Gabriel attended did not speak fully in the language of God. Their love and their justice did not stretch to the different colors, the different stories. There was not explanation, just silence. Just a continuation of a "No." And for what? What was the threat of a black man speaking of racial systemic injustice? Can we really play games where one rejects a feeling of guilt only to keep another in a maddening isolation. "Am I the only one who cares?" A chasm is widening.

Hasn't Jesus taught us that we can now touch the Truth? Guilt is not a viable excuse anymore. The Truth does not shame us; instead, it sets us free. The Truth ministers to us as we try to obtain more of it. The Truth is Love.

Both must be bold. How I desire to be Gabriel's friend, to have been involved in his life somehow. I want so badly to gather a community of love talkers and doers around him. I do not doubt there was love in his life. His mother's writing shows that clearly. But us humans are stiff-necked people. We are prone to forgetting. We do not even recognize God's love for us. Why would a human attempt to share love knowing how often God is rejected?

Because we are called to do what Jesus is doing! I believe Jesus shouts out his love for us every second of the day. Jesus is a fool. A fool for His God, the one who created us. A fool for us, the ones he died for at the cross. And if my Savior died, then the least I can do is shout the Truth because I know as much as I want to befriend Gabriel, there are others. My sin is blinding me from them and, worse and unfortunately true, my sin keeps me from giving, sharing, and loving the ones I see even now. The wages of sin is death. In that grisly truth is one who did more than cheat death, he defeated it. Christ champions resurrection that we can all obtain through him. This foolish champion is our best hope for a live worth living.

This is a post for Gabriel, another one of the dead who should not be in the grave.
This is a post for his family, a small attempt to right one of the world's long list of wrongs through a sprinkling of truth.
This is a post for me, as a reminder to love at all times. Bold and bright, drawing on the ways God has healed and saved me.
This is a post for God. May You consider these words a pray of resurrection for the renewal of Your Truth in all of us.
This is a post for you. Be a witness to the Truth and do not let the whispers of goodness you often hear become things you do not do. Act. Pray. Act again.

13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. (James 4:13-17)

Life is present. Life is now. Love those who are in front of you. Someone needs it. Trust.

Give us boldness, Jesus.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Maybe this is part of the problem.

I cannot believe that David Carradine's death (R.I.P.) is the front page story, not Obama's speech to "the Muslim world."

More blogs to come. Definitely a post on the latter.