It’s always so confusing to me when the anger of people is directed toward the behavior and choices of others. More than their own brokenness. More than the blaring ethical and social injustices. More than the existence of poverty stricken communities. More than the outrageous amount of children still not in families. More than the sexual battle that preys on young women. More than the widespread addiction to the virtual stimulations that prevent intimacy in reality.
My own anger swells up in these moments when the people who wear your Name use it to build walls, instead of erase boundaries. To judge, instead of embrace. It’s as if we’ve missed the whole point of why You called us to be a Holy People.
This isn’t a new problem. Your people haven’t always had your vision.
I really love Your words in Isaiah 42, the ones that speak a calling over Your servants, the ones where You grieve over their adulterous worship. And today I read them with new clarity.
“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen, he is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.”
“I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.”
But it wasn’t only the nations who were in the dark.
“Listen, you who are deaf! Look and see, you blind! Who is as blind as my own people, my servant? Who is as deaf as my messenger? Who is as blind as my chosen people, the servant of the Lord? You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.”
And so I can’t help but ask: Church, why don’t we ever consider whether we’re the ones who are blind?
We’ve taken our political alliances, scripture interpretations, and long-standing morals and have built them of gold, wood and stone, and stood them tall for everyone to see. They overshadow our love and steal zeal from our spirit, which longs to inhabit grace. And even more crippling is how these idols have blinded us from recognizing all of humanity as created in Your image. How long will our complacent hearts and idle hands do little or nothing to redemptively engage the global social crises, while we sit in our comfortable homes, behind our expensive screens, passionately making moral and righteous stands?
Instead of unveiling Truth to an unseeing world, we ourselves are the ones who are blind, we are the ones not listening to God’s activity in this time and place.
Forgive us, Father, for shouting our judgment in this public place. For humiliating the weak with our hateful, fear induced words. Forgive us for putting out dim lights that seem genuine in their interest to love. Forgive us for spending more time judging those we think have done wrong, instead of bringing justice to those who have been wronged.
I want a global vision. One that expands past my own insecurities and fears. One that leaps over my judgmental spirit. One that doesn’t compartmentalize people. One that recognizes grace when it’s being given. One that sees the pain of others. One that identifies how to participate in Your ministry on the earth. One that stretches across boundaries and borders to embrace everyone You’ve created.
And I’m thankful for the people and ministries who lead in this.