“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Growing up in the church, you have lots of Bible stories to entertain you, many of them appealing to kids. Picture animals marching two by two into a ship, as Noah gets ready for an apocalyptic flood. Or Moses parting the sea with his rod. Or Jonah, in the belly of a whale. Illustrations of such an amazing adventure picture a man inside a cavernous space, lit by a lamp, not exactly what the inside of a whale should look like! But Bible stories never let a little thing like rationality prevent the telling of a good parable, one that contains a good life lesson.
Good Friday commemorates the dramatic fall of a rising star, a young prophet with a miraculous birth story, a man who dangerously threatened the status quo, and upset the ruling politicians of the day with his radical talk of peace and equality. The compelling story shows his remarkable arrival in the city, surrounded by throngs or adoring crowds as he rides in on a humble donkey only to end up arrested, convicted and sentenced to death all in the space of a week. A tragic ending to the meteoric rise of the charismatic leader. Cue the credits and the somber music. A life snuffed out too soon. But wait! The story is not over! In a surprising plot twist, death has no dominion!
This week a different kind of drama played out in Tennessee, concentrating our attention on three legislators who stood and shouted for gun reform in a state that is just the latest in a string of mass shooting events. In a country where the right to free speech is the first amendment of the constitution, those in favor of the second tried to silence the first. In dramatic, made for streaming moments, the three threatened with expulsion had their say, broadcast around their globe. In thoroughly and depressingly predictable fashion, though charged with the same decorum breaking offence, the two who were voted out were the Black men. Oh Tennessee, you remind me of Nina Simone’s musical condemnation of Mississippi some sixty years ago.
Those of us who are patient (I can’t claim that as one of my strengths) know that there is a plot twist coming. For rather than silencing those who are in the minority in that State House, they have amplified the message, galvanized the masses, and started a reaction that we can hear rumbling in the distance. Beware the law of unintended consequences. The people are watching, they are listening, they are awakening, and yes, my friend, they are going to stay Woke.
This morning I watched a scary documentary about the thawing of the permafrost in the far north, with the release of tons of carbon that has not been factored into calculations of future global warming. Sink holes are opening up, lakes are bubbling with methane, ice cellars are no longer cold enough to store whale meat. I wanted to avert my eyes, sure of a cataclysmic crash in our near future. The story is dramatic, and the plot twist depends on the same ones who have caused our climate instability, which is even scarier. We cannot sit and wait for a miracle, for a dramatic reboot of our earth’s fragile ecosystem. We need to demand that politicians listen to scientists and take steps necessary to avert the coming disaster.
Fortunately there are voices crying in the wilderness, activists demanding our attention. But their voices need to be amplified, and their actions multiplied, or this amazingly beautiful planet and all of its inhabitants are heading for the somber music and a fade to black.
This Good Friday morning I wish everyone enough; enough love, enough justice, enough bun and cheese.
Have a wonderful weekend, Family!