Nightwind coined that phrase, “spiritual infrastructure,” as a diagnoses for what ails us in our broken world of politics, violence, the breakdown of the family and culture, and said, “This cycle will not be broken until our spiritual infrastructure is restored.”
Amen to that! That is something that presses upon me from so many different directions, rippling out like sound waves from the personal to our nation as a whole. Our spiritual infrastructure is all broken. We are like people adrift trying to build something on sinking sand.
This was driven home to me again this afternoon when I skipped my walk on account of just too much chaos walking around screaming at itself. There’s a lot of addiction in my neck of the woods, fights, potential violence, and that security, that sense of community is now gone. I have to look outside, test the waters before I leave the house, even in the daytime. The lady behind me now has hot wire running around her fence and Navy guy has cameras up and sign that says, “it’s not worth dying for.” That’s in stark contrast to the world I used to know less than a decade ago, something more akin to Mayberry. Okay Mayberry a bit rough around the edges, but still a community of families.
To bring it even closer to home, the “spiritual infrastructure” inside my own home broke about a dozen years ago, too. Hubby, as awesome and wonderful as he is, pulled away from the church, away from faith itself, although he’s still a believer, he still prays, but there is a fracture there that is just palatable. The biggest problem being, we still had two kids at home and I knew they would follow him and not me. We talked about it endlessly, I tried everything to convince him, but I couldn’t help him see how desperately we needed him to hang in there, especially the kids. He was like, you can still take them to church, you can take them to vacation bible school and youth group, but of course it didn’t go down that way at all, it never does.
Spiritual infrastructure, that is what dad’s provide. Without fail, kids will follow their dad’s lead. I’m not sure why, but they do and I knew this at the time, too, but I was powerless to stop it. It wasn’t long before they weren’t going to church at all.
You can see it in our kids too, those who struggle the most, those who are lacking that spiritual infrastructure, are the two youngest, the two who spent the least amount of time in church, in faith, around believers. They must now make their way in a world that is more broken than ever, without that much-needed spiritual infrastructure, absent within them and seemingly absent outside of them, too.
We had a lot of extenuating circumstances, broken churches, having my non believing mother come live with us, a son with health issues, the death of some good friends way too young, a business partner gone awry, this community, just a huge tsunami of challenges that would have crushed most families, so we fractured, we shattered into a million pieces not unlike this neighborhood has. Dad’s are not perfect either, they cannot always rise to the occasion when they are called to, but yes, they are called to.
Spiritual infrastructure, that is what dad’s provide and that is a big part of what has gone awry within our culture as a whole.