I completely disagree with you! Wait you might be disagreeing with me! Oh wait, we might be also disagreeing and agreeing along different points, theological, political, socio-economical etc. Here’s a word to consider… Grace! Ever thought about this word beyond it being the name of your grandmother, but actually as its origin meaning?
There’s this story of Jesus, (stay with me as I get a little “Bibley.”) Anyway, as the gospel narrative goes, Jesus and his crew (aka. disciples) are on the Sea of Galilee and a huge storm blows up, everyone is scared thinking it’s a precursor to the Titanic, but anyway there’s a storm and they’re on a “three hour tour”, OK I’ll stop, disciples say, “Help please!” Jesus calms the storm, all good, feel free to read it in Mark 4:35-4.
OK, so as we bring this narrative to this interesting year-ish, I think there are some interesting considerations. In some of my recent conversation with a few people there was the statement, “well, everyone is in the same boat with this Pandemic”, to which someone wisely clarified by saying, “we actually aren’t in the same boat, but we are in the same storm.” Same storms, different boats. If I can be really honest, I work alongside a lot of different people with a lot of different vocations and of course everyone has an opinion of what’s working, not working, etc., to which we need GRACE! I have found our conversations and opinions fall toward our affinities. My friends in public health or government see the potential strain on the system and are saying we should lock everything down tighter. My friends that work close with addictions, families imploding, poverty, and mental health are seeing the utter destruction of lives are saying we need to open this thing and push through. GRACE! We are in the same storm, we aren’t in the same boat. Grace is needed so we can recognize and empathize with those in other boats. We are only seeing our own boat and our response is the same as the disciples where they cried out, “don’t you care if we drown?” Left, right, open, closed, can afford to financially ride it out, or don’t have that option, sickness and deaths from the virus, sickness and deaths caused by… managing the virus. GRACE! Please, let’s see, listen, and empathize those in the other boats (canoe, yacht, kayak, ocean liner, whatever!) We still don’t have to agree, but we need to get our humanity back as we truly consider where people are crying out from. I feel we have lost our ability for outward facing GRACE. Rather than push your point, your facts and stats, maybe we can start with listening and empathizing no matter which side your allegiances lie on. But, I would always also recommend, being an apprentice of, abiding in, and knowing the ultimate source of grace, the one the disciples cried out to, so that we can experience and reflect that grace toward others.
‘Til next time,
by Pastor Dave Zimmerman