When I shut my eyes there are memories I want to confront – betrayal, injustice, and exploitation. It’s as if the worst of New York and every community blossoms without restraints.
The facts are harsh and real. The poor suffer more than the rich. Life seems to take pleasure in extracting suffering from those least able to defend themselves. The person struggling to hold onto possessions as he or she is being displaced from the warmth of a New York subway is confronting unimaginable demons. The single parent trying to make ends meet while attending college, nurturing a handicapped parent, and facing the reality of no monies – this is life today in my community. Cancers making their home in those too young to give up the fight is a gruesome reality.
I find two responses. One is underway. The other requires my attention, commitment, and active engagement.
First, Divinity will deal with Evil. Even as in yesterday, “when the Master [God] has finished dealing with Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he'll say, ‘Now it's Assyria's turn. I'll punish the bragging arrogance of the king of Assyria, his high and mighty posturing, the way he goes around saying, ‘I've done all this by myself. I know more than anyone. I've wiped out the boundaries of whole countries. I've walked in and taken anything I wanted. I charged in like a bull and toppled their kings from their thrones.” (Isaiah 10.12, 13) Divinity will deal with Evil – confronting, holding accountable, and exercising justice.
The second response rests in your court and mine. We are call to respond positively to the challenges others face in our community. We are brothers and sisters to each. We can be a positive force in their lives and our own. We can imagine and work towards responding to those in need. We can take on the root causes of terror, unemployment, and injustice in all its forms! We can wrestle and respond peacefully to the wicked problems of self serving leadership. We can – with patience, courage, and commitment – fight the battle of our lives.
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