"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
~ Isaiah 43:2
"You have been terminated!"
Reality television has gained a lot of notoriety since the early days of American Idol, The Apprentice, and who could forget, Survivor. So many phrases that are now part of our daily vocabulary have come from such shows. "You have been voted off the island," and "Will you accept this rose," immediately conjure up played out scenarios that are now office water fountain fodder.
We watch the person tear up as people share how the person does not "fit in" or how in their actions, they have harmed others. We all have seen this, and some of us have even applauded or agreed in what has been shared. Then we watch as the person is dismissed.
It's reality television.
I've often wondered if television had been around when Jesus, John the Baptist, or someone like Moses was around (Charlton Heston was a great actor, but really, how would he have stacked up against the real Moses in a late breaking summer hit?), of reality television producers might have focused in on these folks of the Bible. Just imagine. We would have seen their successes and failures, and just imagine what those crowds were really like as they screamed out, "Crucify him!"
It is said that we kick people when they are down. In reality, we dismiss people because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.
The new environment has made it okay to dismiss, rather than invest, in helping those that seem to be different.
During this season of Lent, we look to Christ and in our own woundedness, we realize that we are all bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak.
It is no longer dismissing those that are about to be cast off, instead it is reaching out, taking hold, and reminding one another the God walks with each of us always.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, help me to recognize the gifts within my neighbor before I quickly dismiss the opportunity that God has created to get to know my neighbor better. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.