Often coming to mind is a photo I saw several years back when ISIS was first mounting their heightened persecution of Christians in Syria. It was a group of children with bold smiles on their faces. Arms outstretched, palms down, they proudly showed the backs of their hands. Every child had the Cross tattooed on their hand. As villages in the region were being brutally ravaged, for them this was the mark of death. They were going to let their future killers know they belonged to Christ.
They kept their sights on the end-game. Do we?
George Floyd’s tragic death has unleashed insanity throughout the country. We have had civil unrest before, even civil war. But we had a different society then. People were presumed to have intrinsic value given to them by God. The ‘spirit of the law’ intended to bring prudence into decision making. There was a common definition of the word ‘civil’ in ‘civil society’ and of ‘good’ as in ‘good citizen’, ‘for the common good’. Virtues provided the benchmarks. Now, 60 years of social engineering in the US has redefined the meaning of life and personhood.
The only true solidarity is in the Triune God, and the Christian life is color-blind. The non-Christian world does not understand this, but they should be able to see and experience it in action through us. God gives us the ‘formula”.
Once in mass, I looked several pews ahead and saw the quintessential 21st century dad. Armed with weapons for every challenge, his burp rag hung out his back pocket and pacifier was in reach! Projectile vomiting has met its match!
We are in a hidden crisis that is worse than Covid-19 or the economic recession because it will permeate the fabric of society with permanence unless stopped. The re-definition of the meaning and value of life, as well as personhood, has been underway many years and is now on the brink of rapid diffusion. Now is the time for us to push back. In the worst of evil times is when God raises saints, and He calls each of us to step up now. Our entire lives, the good and the bad of it, have prepared us for this very moment in time.
This is the history that must repeat itself through us.
As the country prepares to come out of lockdown, I ask myself am I prepared? Has lockdown been a cocoon or a prison? Metamorphosis or stagnation? Re-entering the world, do I return to my old self or continue in this path of change God has led (or lured!) me into?
Our metamorphosis is the metamorphosis of the church. We are the change, and we must proceed with the daring birthed in Hope.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the US suffered epidemic loneliness, depression, anxiety and suicide. We were arguably the worst-prepared for crisis of any previous generation in our history. When we help individuals to foster their relationship with our Triune God, a true relationship in which they take these hidden scars to Jesus to be brought up into His own five wounds, their healing will be the healing of our society. He is the only answer, and by duty we have obligation to make Him known to others.