There is a view that says we should get along, everything should be subtle and life will move forward. The perspective shows up in different ways. One party can be dysfunctional, accusatory, or passively resistant to taking action yet it is the party that challenges the status quo that is held to account. One party can say something inappropriate yet it is the party that responds that is caught. The rationale that everyone should get along or things should be smooth seems to put a burden on the side striving to do the right thing.
As I reflect on the view I am left wondering, where is the justice in this?
Recent events remind me that it is important to notice. When things work, it is time for a party. When things do not go so well, take time to understand, learn, and work through the specifics. No matter what the setting, do something when the community comes together. David’s observation is as true today as it was when he first put pen to paper; “Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel.” (Psalm 22.23)
The worse thing we can do in life is to be ambivalent. It is important to take time to see, understand, and act. Being busy does not give us an excuse. Ignoring reality does not change the fact that good and bad events touch the lives of those involved. We share a calling to be engaged, to be in the moment at hand. There is nothing particularly subtle about this. We will get our hands dirty. Life will be messy. Sometimes things will stink! On other occasions it was be amazingly wonderful.
Life reminds me that it is good to embrace the extremes and be vocal. Too often I let things slide. I watch, note, and say nothing. There were times in my past where I was active in taking on the negatives. I missed the celebrations. Taking both in and doing something with it is a standing invitation to full living.