I have a confession to make. When I hear a story with tears – when someone has been struck down by illness, when the choices of others end up causing pain, even death, and when bad things happen to good people – I no longer find anger within me. There is a part of me that wishes I could express rage! Somewhere I think I should be talking of war, retribution, or revenge. At least I should stand up, ready to even the score.
Somewhere in the midst of overwhelming pain, uncertainty, and tears, I have set my response of anger aside. It is not for lack of situations that call for this emotion. From my morning newspaper to emails and conversations with friends, life is full of tearful examples demanding a response. My reaction is tempered by the realization that I am called to a different front, one that is more difficult and soul consuming than battle. Specifically I hear the following words.
The world needs compassion and empathy. When stress overwhelms, when uncertainty trumps, individuals need others in their lives. There are many ready to join this call, however in any given circumstance I could be the one person that is available.
Divinity reminds me that s/he has the retribution angle covered. It is not, in the main, my battle. “I will let you know if you need to do anything.” Until I do, remember, “Enoch, the seventh after Adam, prophesied of them: ‘Look! The Master comes with thousands of holy angels to bring judgment against them all, convicting each person of every defiling act of shameless sacrilege, of every dirty word they have spewed of their pious filth.’” (Jude 1.14, 15) In short, I have it covered.
Be careful to judge, even the obvious. If I knew her/his story would I have been able to do anything different. I hope I would. Yet that is not the real question. The question that I need to answer is, “are you willing to bring community and give your acceptance of God child?”
God promised. Our calling remains.