It may be foolish to keep trying…


By now you already know about it. You’ve read the articles about Iraq. You’ve watched the livestream of #ferguson. You’ve tweeted a Good Will Hunting quote for Robin Williams. You’ve been an eye at the peephole as lives have spun, twisted, and come undone. Maybe you’ve prayed, maybe you’ve sent help (I hope you have.), but in the end it’s crazy how this has all played out like Shakespeare, or some less important drama. Can’t you sense the scene breaks, the monologues, the punches of wrenching irony? It, all of it, has me reading existentialists and feeling like a bit character caught in a tragedy. And we all know how tragedies end.
No one gets out alive.
It came to me while I was reading that post for Robin Williams. The one with Aladdin saying “Genie you’re free.” Is that the meaning? Is that where he found himself? How easily it could become too much. As a community flies apart, as a country unravels, as everything begins to look hopeless…I mean doesn’t it seem like a lot to be fighting?
Why are we fighting, anyway? That’s the thought I had. Why should we bother trying to fight for racial harmony when one instant, one bad choice could unspin everything? Why should we bother investing in nation building and peace when war can tear through in a matter of weeks and undo years of slow, hard won progress? Why should we fight to be stable, to be okay, to be functional when one moment of grief and depression can turn off the light forever? And then, to make it all so much worse, we can’t even agree on what went wrong. We can’t come to a consensus of who caused this, who to blame, who to even fight against!
This is the part of the story where I would, traditionally, insert a touching anecdote about the hope of children and the future and innocence. It would be warm, and it would give you hope that we may have something to fight for, after all. Most unfortunately, all of the children in my life are sick. It comes, even to those who ought to be holding the future. Leaving even that uncertain.
So why are we fighting? I’m going to be honest, and tell you that I’m not sure. I’m not sure it’s worth it, sometimes. It feels foolish.
I’ve been told that the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men. May we be the church of the foolish. The church of those who laugh around the death bed and nourish the dying child. The church of those who celebrate the small victory as the city caves around us. May we be the first to rush in when hope is lost.I cannot explain to you that the fight is worth it. I cannot promise you that it will not unravel even as you weave it. I cannot offer you any evidence that you are not wasting your time hoping, wasting your time trying, wasting your time fighting. If I’m honest, these may be the foolish things.
Almost as foolish as believing that there was anything left to salvage in the mess I made of myself. Almost as foolish as sending a perfect, powerful being to die as a poor peasant man. Almost as foolish as building a kingdom of the uneducated and unimportant. Almost as foolish as embracing women and thieves and runaway slaves. Almost as foolish as every martyr, every saint, every person who has left family, friends, jobs, lives, and reputation behind in pursuit of this God who is as invisible and elusive as the wind caught in our fingers.
We, brothers and sisters, were called to foolishness. Called to laugh in the face of death. This is our heritage, and we are not alone.
Please do not give up yet.


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