Something Must Be Done

I don't know if it seems this way to y'all, but it seems to me like this is just a time in history when Something Must Be Done.

Aside from all the fire and fury that apparently is all God's will, we've all got our situations where we're trapped, stuck, at the mercy of someone or something.  

Right now, I'm in a Facebook group that's trying to work for justice and mercy in a particular situation.  No matter how nicely we say it, no matter how much evidence there is for reality, no matter how many victims speak, the situation just doesn't seem open to change.

This is not the first time in my life I've encountered this in a Christian institution, and I doubt it will be my last.  

I've had to ask myself, why bother?  I don't think things are going to turn out the way I want, so why am I in this?

Secret police building, still in use, Yangon, Myanmar.  Photo: me and my cell phone.  Don't turn me in.

Secret police building, still in use, Yangon, Myanmar.  Photo: me and my cell phone.  Don't turn me in.

What I've realized is this: many times, speaking truth to power does not result in justice or mercy.

Any minority group in America can tell you this.  

However, many of us white cisgender straight people, raised in wealth and privilege in church, we've been taught that if you just do the right thing, if you just do God's will as defined by us, you'll get the outcome you're hoping for, and it will happen today or at least this week.

Proof of this is that everything goes mostly fine for us most of the time; we must have the formula down and be doing it right, so we pat ourselves on the back and keep preaching.

The life of Jesus should give us real pause when it comes to thinking like this, but instead that whole story has been turned into a victory march for prosperity gospels that sneak in everywhere.

The truth is: we have no control, and that's okay, because LOVE DOES NOT CONTROL.

Love just makes an offer. 

Love offers the truth, and companionship to deal with pain that the truth so often brings.

Once someone has seized and leveraged power, it's often true that nothing works to remove that person from power.  

But we keep speaking the truth anyway.  

Even if power won't listen, we keep speaking the truth.

We keep working for justice and mercy wherever we find ourselves. 

We keep resisting evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. 

We keep providing a safe place for victims. 

We keep creating appropriate boundaries in our own personal lives so that we can offer help and empathy to the victims.

When we experience seasons like this--unjust, painful, difficult seasons even within the realm of our privilege and plenty--our experience should open us to the reality of suffering in the world, and make us

more compassionate,

more open,

more inclusive

of the suffering that others have endured all along without our noticing.

(Today is the third anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  Did you notice?)

In the end, whatever wrongs other people commit, whatever outcomes we cannot control, whatever happens in the world, we can still be the people who go into the world with our arms and hearts open wide.

In seasons like this, when we feel so strongly that Something Must Be Done, ultimately Something Must Be Done WITHIN US.

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