There is an interesting irony that we usually find difficult to reflect on. It goes something like this. Passionate beliefs are personal, intimate, and priceless. When we have them we will often go to extraordinary lengths to make sure others realize just how important these beliefs are to us. Think about those who risk their lives while running their boats between the rocket-propelled harpoon on a whaling ship and a whale swimming in the vicinity. Put your in the shoes of the protestors climbing trees and anchoring themselves in to protest potential logging. Imagine the personal risk taken to protect the environment when it comes to the Alaskan pipeline, atomic energy, and dam projects.
The irony is not that we chose to risk our lives expressing how important they are. Most wars are fought by soldiers who believe in the cause that the stand for. The puzzle emerges that more often than not we will risk our lives for a plan, animal, or principal but we will silently let a friend destroy their life. For whatever reasons we find it difficult to take hard stands that others disagree with. This is not to say that we wouldn’t risk everything to save somebody while we were doing something together. Climbers, divers, and hikers all rely on the buddy system for safety. Yet when the crisis happens within relationships, God, parent to children, or between those of the same age, we often sit by and just watch.
God will not let us go without a fight. As must as we may try to destroy the relationship Divinity will do every possible to bring us back, even when there is a strong chance that we will not respond. John records one such scene.
“The fourth Angel poured his bowl on the sun: Fire blazed from the sun and scorched men and women. Burned and blistered, they cursed God’s Name, the God behind these disasters. They refused to repent, refused to honor God.” (Revelation 16.8, 9)
Just because others don’t respond or understand, our calling towards mercy and compassion remains.