I really enjoyed Pastor Randy’s post, “IT’S BROKE! FIX IT!”
What’s broke? Community, the church overall, how we treat one another. He makes some really good points about how we go to church on Sunday, but completely forget to be the church the rest of the week. Our responses to this pandemic, everything from hoarding to gleefully reporting our neighbors, are all symptomatic of that community brokenness, our inability or unwillingness to love one another.
This has long been my issue, my work, the secret desire of my heart, ending separation, building community. It’s not a criticism of anyone else, but where I live the church overall, as a whole, is just not working. Keep in mind this is also the second most secular county in the nation, so the work is plentiful and the laborers are few.
Myself, I’ve been dealing with a lot of frustration, a lot of feeling hurt, abandoned, on account of the meth and heroin epidemic. Like, the number of deaths here are just astounding! That pandemic has been ravishing my community for years. All my friends are now dead. Along comes Covid 19 and suddenly the whole country mobilizes, shuts down? Suddenly human life has value?
When did we start caring about human life???
Yeah, I’ve been struggling with a little bit of an attitude lately. I don’t like any sickness, and even one death is too many, but we were losing more people to drug overdoses in in this state in just one day, than we’ve lost during the entire course of this virus. I mention addiction because it’s really symptomatic of separation, isolation, of disconnection from community. It’s rotten fruit that grows so well in the fertilized soil of broken community.
This little meme has been floating around on social media and I really like it, too. I’ve been longing for “normal” whatever that means, but I’m starting to dread it, too. I don’t want to see things to go back to “normal.” I want to see some changes, changes for the better.
Normal stinks. “Normal” has nearly crushed me. I don’t have the endurance to survive much more of this “normal.”
Where I live the gap between the “rich” and the “poor,” is just phenomenal, in the sense that people own several homes, many of them vacation homes, and people are retired, comfortable. Meanwhile the poor and the working class are often living in 3rd world poverty, in tents, campers, sheds, without running water or electricity. Wages are so darn low, minimum wage is often it. Home ownership is totally out of the question. So is ever building a business here.
It’s really not about money, it’s not about classism, it’s about an attitude, an unkindness, a complete disregard for the pain and suffering of our neighbors. It’s about a poverty of spirit towards our brothers and sisters that is far worse and far more damaging than any pandemic.
The Bible says, “without a vision, the people perish.” They also perish without a future and a hope, somewhere to place their eyes. If you can’t build, innovate, dream, create, and grow, all that’s really left is to indulge in your anesthesia of choice.
So yeah I agree, “it’s broke, fix it.” A return to “normal” just won’t do.