Marcus C. Lambright
The Present Moment
They say time heals all wounds.
I'm not so sure about that.
The events in our nation's capitol last Wednesday have really shown us the pain that we are still suffering from. Pain from loss of life and loss of income. Pain from food insecurity and home insecurity. Pain from years of overt racism and misinformation. Pain from a growing anxiety in ourselves and shrinking confidence in others.
There were people whom Jesus healed who had enduring pain--physical, emotional, and spiritual alike--whose suffering continued despite how much time passed (Luke 8.42-48; John 9.1-12; Matthew 8). It's worth noting that Jesus healed individuals yet the community was divided. Some saw Christ's works as God's blessing and a reason to turn their lives in a new direction. Others doubted his motives, questioned his authority, and convinced people to despise his presence.
Perhaps you've seen these attitudes today.
This moment we are living through is a challenge to our integrity and a call by the Holy Spirit to love deeply through acts of faith and justice. The present moment isn't going to resolve itself. The work of healing communities and society at large is shared. It's quite tempting to look to the needs of ourselves and our close contacts. But Jesus spoke against doing good acts for those who can return the favor, instead caring for those living on the margins of society.
It's also very tempting to make false assumptions about marginalized people.
It takes real work and faith to look inside and admit that we don't know how to move forward, to humble ourselves, and to ask hard questions about our thoughts and habits in response to the pain all around us. I admire those who have met this moment with courage, selflessness, and compassion. Teachers, grocers, parents, journalists, first-responders, sanitation workers, care-givers, faith leaders, civil servants...the list goes on. Christ came into the world, we celebrated a new year, and yet many of our troubles remained. But also many of our healers and heroes remained, too. Our society is frayed but not broken. May we come to address our collective pain with the heart of Christ.