“Who is my neighbor?”
In essence, Jesus answers that your neighbor is the man who looks nothing like you, has nothing in common with you, and is lying in the middle of the road, bleeding and nearly dead.
And as I reflect on what it means to love my neighbors, especially the ones who live way over in Charlottesville, I can’t help but think how fitting it is that at church today, we talked about compassion and the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
And as I wished my roommate a safe flight this morning, I couldn’t help but think how fitting it is that today, my best friend left to Washington D.C. to intern with Sojourners, an organization that is committed to racial and social justice, life and peace, faith in action.
It’s all so fitting because of the state of affairs in which we now find ourselves. Racism is alive and well, while people are dying in the streets. And while I’ve always considered myself a pretty compassionate person, sometimes it seems like there are too many problems and people in the world to care about them all–especially the people I never get a chance to meet myself.
This is why I’m grateful that my love of Christ and my friendship with Eugenia have both helped me to grow in my compassion for my neighbors whom I’ve never met, for my 32-year-old neighbor who was killed in Charlottesville because of hate, for my neighbors everywhere who are discriminated against, threatened, and murdered.
Today, I am confessing to you that I have too often been silent in the midst of injustice.
The countless wars that are waged, people killed, and injustices done, are too many for me to ever be able to know and comprehend–only God sees and mourns it all. But I cannot hide behind the excuse that because I cannot help everybody, that I will not help the one.
Today, I am confessing to you that I refuse to be silent when I see injustice done, even if I’m afraid to say the wrong thing, afraid to offend, afraid that my words and efforts will fall short.
Because what happened in Charlottesville is not okay, and what continues to happen around the world–the hatred, the murder, the silence–it’s not okay.
It’s time we all loved our neighbors–those near and far. It’s time we prayed for our enemies–those near and far. It’s time we started loving God outside of our comfort zones by loving people outside our comfort zone, and by fighting against gross injustices even if they’re 2,500 miles away.
And to you who finds yourself thinking, “Well, I can’t help them all,” I say to you,
But you have a voice so use it. It’s not time to be Wonder Woman or Spider Man–it’s time to be YOU and help somebody with the resources God has given you. After all, our lives are not our own. We were bought at a price.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” –Esther 4:14
God will bring justice and the prince of this world will eventually be dethroned, but God has given you a voice in the meantime.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan left the hypothetical world a long time ago–people are dying in the streets.
Do not remain silent.
What is God calling you to use YOUR voice for today?
More on what’s happening in Charlottesville: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/13/us/charlottesville-white-nationalist-rally-car-crash/index.html