Thursday, April 5, 2012

"...not by force or violence, but by gentle, faithful persistence to bring forth justice on the earth."


The verse is from Isaiah, and it speaks to me.  It's Maundy Thursday, reminding us that even the least of us is our brother.

I've spent several weeks thinking about the meanness that has started to pervade much of our culture and discourse. Almost every shooter or suicide victim of late -- except for George Zimmerman -- has told us how poorly he/she was treated by peers.  If it's not Facebook slurs, then it's impolite and angry epithets hurled at people who look and sound different than us. We see such meanness even in our political leaders in the midst of a fierce rhetorical firestorm.

Wisdom tells us that anger is the other face of fear.  What are we so afraid of?  Why do we find it necessary to classify some people as inferior?  Why so much bitterness and fearfulness?  How can we stop poisoning our environment? 

To me, difference and diversity has always reflected the best lessons of religion.   Love your neighbor.  Be your brother's keeper.  Put yourself in another's shoes.  Rather than draw a line in the sand, step over the line.

I'm not out washing anyone's feet or handing out bags of coin today, but I am thinking during these final days of Lent just how we might improve the discourse and the environment in which most of us move..."and by gentle, faithful persistence...bring forth justice on the earth."

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