A politician stands up and makes his or her point. The conclusions obvious, the stand is pragmatic, and the motives are clear so the analysis and perspective is automatic. One is reluctant to do anything but draw the answer. What else could it be? Can I maintain my own integrity and not say anything? Doesn’t someone need to take a stand?
Yet occasionally, just once in awhile, the conclusion is wrong. When one is not familiar with the person or the scene the conclusion isn’t so automatic. “I saw Four Angels standing at the four corners of earth, standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree.” (Revelation 7.1)
I don’t know from this picture if the four angels are holding the wind from my back or launching a tornado of destruction so that it will come directly towards me. I am not in a position to judge if they are friends or foes. It isn’t exactly clear what is going to happen or why.
Yet most of the time I will, as do many others, draw a conclusion and act! I will protect myself if I judge the scene to be hostile, anticipating the fight on my hands. Or I will act as if nothing could possibly be wrong if I have reached a different conclusion. All without any direct evidence or guidance. The analysis and conclusions are almost automatic. No thought, no hard facts, and certainly no way of absolutely knowing for sure.
Increasingly I find myself called to and lobbying for a different way of understanding life’s pictures. What if you and I were not called to every reach a hard conclusion on our own? Could it be that we have a Guide as well as someone to protect us? Is paying a price for compassion ready to act before bigotry, bias, and judgment something we cannot afford?
This is not a call for non-engagement, in fact quite the opposite. It is about trusting and living in faith.