As I sit in my comfortable townhome, typing on my aged but still fully capable MacBook Pro, streaming old episodes of The Office on an aging plasma TV (one that, while not the newest, fanciest model still could probably fetch the equivalent of a year’s wages for one of the factory workers that assembled it), I can’t help but face one simple reality:
I am the problem.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I talk a mean game for an armchair activist. Injustice makes me uncomfortable, maybe even a little angry, but not enough to actually change the way that I live my life. Sure, I’ve changed the way that I talk, but if I may invoke that most classic of cliché’s: talk is cheap.
For me, it’s especially cheap. Words and ideas are my job, my hobby, my life, but you know what? They don’t cost me anything. I can talk myself into a corner and talk myself right back out again without ever putting any real skin into the game.
There’s a story in 2 Samuel where God directs David to build an altar and make a sacrifice. A citizen offers to give David wood and oxen for his sacrifice, but David replies with what has become another (unfortunately) common cliché:
“I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God offerings that cost me nothing.”
These words, these ideas, these silver-tongued pleas for justice spoken from the comfortable confines of the high hill of privilege, are the sacrifices that cost me nothing, and they seem to burn hottest when fueled by my own righteous indignation. In the end, it’s all the same. They’re consumed, and nothing is left but the echoes and the ashes. But there is life left in those charred remains. Somewhere in all of those words and ideas there lies the foundation for a Kingdom unlike any other, a Kingdom whose watchword is Love and whose Prince is Peace.
It’s the Kingdom I’ve become particularly adept at talking about, and even better at avoiding actually living out. I have forgotten, or perhaps more accurately ignored, Christ’s parting word to his disciples to go and do.
So here I am. I’m still sitting in this townhome. I’m still typing words on my MacBook Pro, and The Office is still playing on the TV, so has anything really changed? I guess I’m not really sure, but every fire starts with a tiny spark.
Maybe this is the spark.
Maybe it’s time to burn it all down.
Luke is an ENFP who hates writing bio’s in the 3rd person. He’s an analyst to pay the bills (a constant challenge for his non-linear brain), but his real passions revolve around being married to Jill, and raising Thing One (Ethan, 3) and Thing Two (Asher, 1). He writes over at Living in the Tension (sporadically, due to the demands of the aforementioned Things) where he wrestles with everything from faith to family to philosophy, and does it all through the lens of what it means to be a follower of Christ in his life, his work and his family. He’s thirty-smhershmer years old, still loves punk rock and has famously never turned down a rice-krispies treat.