Monday, March 22, 2010

Blood on My Hands

Sometimes I am paralyzed by the degree that I am blessed.  Why am I tempted by excess when so many go to bed hungry?  Why do I stir up conflict when I have never known war?  Why do I deal harshly with others when God has dealt so gently with me?

I sat on the bus on the way to work this morning and cried.  I couldn't help it, and it was embarrassing.  More often than I care to admit as of late, I find that I am unable to keep myself from tears.  I looked at the Starbucks cup in my hands, and I thought of the farmers who are exploited for their labor so that Americans like me can avoid inconvenience.  I looked at my pants, and I wondered if a child without shoes made them.  I looked at the homeless men that we passed on the street and considered the times that I have avoided their gaze, ashamed at my lack of compassion for the very poor so loved by Christ.

I realize that God has been granting me the blessing and the curse of stripping my heart.  I find that I am raw, disturbed, outraged, grieved yet also blissful, calm, brave, and, in fleeting moments, compassionate.  He has paid us the terrible compliment of engineering us for the heroic - not for solitary, mighty acts once in awhile but the great and awful burden of daily walking with justice and mercy in a world wrought with unspeakable terror and abuse.  How can I possibly avoid slipping into the ease of comfort that always perpetuates injustice?  Moreover, why do I get to know Him at all?  Why am I one of the few, the fortunate few, in this broken land that can call Him Abba, Father?  As I consider the blood on my hands and on my legs and on my feet, I cannot help but rejoice and mourn and rage and wonder at these things.

Maranatha, maranatha, maranatha...

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