There is a context to our lives. In every conversation, decision, and reflection, one acts within the frame and shape of her or his life. Too often, I find myself ignoring the context of my life, moving in ways that pulls and tears its fabric. I woke this morning wondering if I understand where I am. Do I see the pillars defining my view? Have I grasped the values anchoring my understanding of what is going on around me? Am I willing to examine the experiences shaping the lens of my perspective?
I am not the first one to struggle with this question. When those before me questioned how God fit in their life context, a writer explained, “that's why Isaiah said, ‘I'll give to all of you David's guaranteed blessings.’ So also the psalmist's prayer: ‘You'll never let your Holy One see death's rot and decay.’” (Acts 13.35)
It may seem like I am inviting you to do something painful or dangerous. My motive is to accomplish that is the opposite. The more that you and I understand the context of our lives the greater our opportunity is to be intentionally effective in it. The absence of knowledge is not a good situation! We need to know our communities. We should understand the needs, pains, and challenges of those we associate with. Being able to link the values we say are important with our actions and decisions is important. Looking at our community and our lives in the frame of history can change our understanding.
Acts of ignorance have hurt your life and mine. When others worship the God of Self, we all suffer. As cries for help go unanswered, the message of our inaction destroys everyone that is within hearing.
I know that today’s struggles are painfully tangible. I also know that in each there is an opportunity for us to realize compassion. I can see how Evil often trumps every alternative. I also know that the battles of our lives are not yet over.
Today we can make our communities better and more.