In a city like New York everything is out on display. Sensual, sexual, traditional, ghetto, and conservative come together with everything. The result is a bizarre mix of ideals, indulgence, ethical positions, defiance, and wonder. It is far too easy to assume that the visual spectrum is unique to this big city. It is natural to be critical of the compassion idealism, cynical of the blatant exercise of freedom, and condescendingly superior with one’s personal values. Ironically New York is merely any community anywhere turned inside out. What is exposed in New York exists in virtually every heart in some way or the other. The very things visitors gasp at merely reflect what exists in the hidden crevices of the communities they call home.
The harsh reality – there and here – is simply that “their wicked lives raged like an out-of-control fire, the kind that burns everything in its path—trees and bushes, weeds and grasses—filling the skies with smoke.” (Isaiah 9.18) The sad fact is that we have gotten so comfortable with polluted air that we no longer even recognize the particles which permeate every aspect of our lives.
It is easy to rally against what we see. In a virtual world externals are not near as relevant as what exists inside. Are we taking a stand against the wickedness within? Do we consciously erect barriers to help our self in the steps to come? Is accountability something we are familiar with?
The world desperately needs visuals of hope, compassion, and mercy. Your community and mine are looking for people to model ideals. We need example of hope!
The question which rests with us today is twofold. First, do we seek to understand the world in which we live? Are we part of the communities we call home? Are we engaged? Is it natural to be part of the fabric?
Second, are we willing to be accountable – to God, to those around us, and most importantly, to our hearts?
The stakes are high. Lives are at risk. Our answer will determine your future and mine.
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