Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Isaiah 6

I pause and make time. I’ve been avoiding it for days, too busy to slow down and seek solace in my God. I can feel my soul is weary, and no amount of reading the news or surfing my social media feed is going to help. So, I pick up where I left off last time my heart felt this heavy. Isaiah 6.

Isaiah’s words are my own, “Woe is me, for I am lost. I am a (wo)man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of people with unclean lips.”  

That’ll preach.

I know the anger that courses through my own veins and I see the words thrown flippantly at others through my computer screen each day. We are a people of unclean lips. Hate and self righteousness overflowing from our hearts and out of our fingertips towards anyone we disagree with. No time for listening, only time for railing against something or finding the perfect video of a person that agrees with you to “like” so you can pretend you don’t have the same anger laden message in the depths of your own heart.  

So much have I heard from unclean lips that I feel abandoned by my brothers and sisters in Christ. I find myself searching for a remnant that looks like the Jesus my Bible teaches me about. But, maybe it’s merely a refining to reveal the darkness and depth of the hypocrisy we all share. An opportunity to collectively lament.

The passage goes on, “Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on perceiving, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn and be healed.”

How blind we’ve become, how deaf we have grown. My soul is weary, because we have earned this hardness of heart, fair and square, by demoting God to a vending machine of prosperity gospel and the church to a country club with guidelines of acceptability to be a member. I’m hurt because we have traded in following Jesus for undying allegiance the good ‘ol US of A and the Republican party. We’ve traded in love for hate, acceptance for exclusion, grace for legalism. It’s the same story we’ve told for hundreds of years. We’ve elevated our need to prove that we are right, that we are better, that it’s us versus them, over acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly.

So today I weep, for my own heart and for the Church that I loved and that I am fighting to love again. I weep for the people I care for who are wandering like I am, wondering if there is anywhere for someone like me to fit. I cry for those who are nursing their own wounds, doled out in the name of Jesus. I shed tears in gratitude for the few who stayed close and walked with me and didn’t make assumptions about me, in the mess.  I cry for the people who talk to others in a way that the pharisees talked to “sinners”. I cry for my children, that this is the world, this is the church, we are giving them. And I pray for God to burn down our idols of pride, nationalism, and greed to bring us back to His Gospel, that we might love Him and love others, the way Jesus showed us. I pray that we might see with our eyes and hear with our ears and understand with our hearts and turn and be healed.