Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts
as well as our hands
to God in heaven.
I am sharing some thoughts from Richard Rohr’s daily meditations from the last few days that I believe speak on the events and their challenges that the country and all of us are currently dealing with and trying to address. Fr. Gregory Boyle has stated, “It would seem that, quite possibly, the ultimate measure of health in any community might well reside in our ability to stand in awe at what folks have to carry rather than in judgement of how they carry it.” That provides some food for thought, doesn’t it? Fr. Greg started Homeboy Industries which has become one of the most visibly transformative communities in the United States today. The goal has been to assist individuals and families affected by the cycle of poverty, drugs, gangs and incarceration. He believes that healing can only happen when we are in relationship with one another.
Mother Teresa diagnosed the world’s ills this way: we’ve just “forgotten that we belong to each other.” Kinship is what happens when we don’t allow that to happen. When kinship is the goal, other essentials fall into place; without it, no justice, no peace. Isn’t it possible that if kinship was the goal, we would no longer be promoting justice – we would be celebrating it. Kinship – not serving the other, but being one with the other. Jesus exampled that he was not a man for others; he was one with them There’s a world of difference there…
We all have come to realize that change must take place if peace with justice is going to become reality. It’s a good possibility that exploring the possibilities of kinship’s potential can help us inch our way toward creating a community that God might recognize as a step in the right direction. Then we can begin to imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then imagine no one having to stand outside that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so the demonizing stops. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day comes when we stop throwing people away. The prophet Habakkuk writes, “The vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment and it will not disappoint…and if it delays, wait for it. [2:3].”
Thankfully, we now see people, religious and secular, Coming together to form alternative systems for sharing resources, living more simply, and imagining a sustainable future. One of the spiritual gifts of the pandemic and chaos is that God never misses a chance to help us grow up. We are in it together, let’s solve it together.
“Bless Thou the Gifts” #587 UMH
Bless thou the gift our hands have brought;
bless thou the work our hearts have planned.
Ours is the faith, the will, the thought;
the rest, O God, is in thy hand.
Thank you God for the opportunities that challenges so often present. Help us to recognize our kinship with those that have been marginalized. May we be one with all your children, finding ways to live in to the promise of your Kingdom. Amen.