Friends, I have a whole lot to say about yesterday and I am going to start here. See my new shoes? Aren’t they cute? I adore them, but I bought them for a reason beyond their cuteness and total Lindsay vibe—I bought them because I am the kind of pastor who is going to be on the ground nearest to the ache.
Recently, I have tragically learned that systems we have set up that are supposed to be good for the community are sacrificing those who are on the ground nearest to the ache because we live in a cover-your-ass culture. I am shocked by how inhumane our processes and systems are. It is time to expose them. No wonder we are failing as a community on a massive scale. All the people who truly care and are trying to do what they can with little to no training in the human condition are being sacrificed in our blame culture. Those with power furthest from the ache are taking no responsibility for their lack of knowledge that hurts the whole community.
The thing about a punitive system is you eventually punish the wrong person. Jesus showed us this. Jesus did not die to save us from our sins; he died b/c a punitive system was in place that believed sacrificing people brought peace. Pax Romana. When you punish that person, it reveals things have got to change and they have to change now. Stop killing people spiritually or physically and calling it good news that is restoring order. It is not. It further spreads trauma and prevents us from learning what we need to learn.
The pastor who preached at our graduation ceremony said this: The future is not asking what does it mean to be male or female, the question is what does it mean to be human?
YES! I have been saying this for a while now. This is the work I have been doing that will receive no awards, or a job yet—working on it. I have been discovering what it means to be human?
You get on the ground and you get near the ache. It is a healing process that heals the one who has been too far removed from the pain and for the person who is needing a healing touch. Joy is restored, and on a much deeper level than joy had ever been known before. It is the kind of joy that does not need to be manufactured b/c it is authentically there. It is the kind of joy nothing in the world can take away. I can testify to this truth b/c I should not be feeling this hopeful or joyful right now.
I am the kind of pastor who knows her worth and the worth of her people. And she will be on the ground with them making sure we are protected and cared for just like everyone else. She can organize and gather her people. We will march seven times around these buildings with inhumane policies and procedures and blow our horns—which is speaking a word of truth. Speak humanity into our systems.
For Christians: Now is a good time to explore Jesus’ showing us what it means to be human. Time to look inward, not outward. You cannot know God unless you know yourself.
Praise be to God.