A Word From Our Chaplain

Word From Our ChaplainWhen you think of what the world needs (now…love sweet love?), what do you come up with? I don’t have a definitive list, although there definitely are some definitive things on my list. But the one thing that is occurring to me at this time in my life more than all the other things on my list is edification, up-building, restoration.

Our favorite television network at home, hands down, is HGTV (Home and Garden TV). Most of the shows we enjoy involve renovation, restoring, reconstructing. (REally?) But before any of that can be fulfilled, much, if not most, of what’s been up and appears to be dated or collapsing must come down. Many of the personalities on these shows call it “demolition day,” and they just revel in it! The work to tear down a structure is considerable, but it doesn’t take long, relative to rebuilding, for a thing to be destroyed or deconstructed (yes, there’s a difference). In short, tearing down is relatively easy and can happen rather quickly relative to building up something, especially on a previously occupied space.

So, thinking about the world now, media makes it impossible not to be exposed to some kind of tearing down, be it images from a war zone, riots, natural disasters, or—and this is the worst—people tearing down people, or animals, or foliage of some kind.

Is that what people are supposed to do? Is that the best way for us to expend our energy, spend our time and resources…tearing people—life—down?!?

You bet it can feel gratifying to take down something that needs to be replaced, like a cabinet or a wall or a garage, then replace it with something new. Or to “take down” someone who is bullying or harming or boasting. But life isn’t supposed to be like that. You don’t just replace people, or animals, or plants. They have unique configurations of life and require great care, so that it deeply grieves me when I see abuse of any kind because we’re supposed to be stewards of life, especially each other. Which means we are to have each other’s interests at heart; we are to treasure each other’s liveliness as unique and precious.

Even the mean ones, the ugly ones, the unseemly ones, the weird ones…all of us. We each and all have the responsibility to care for one another, no matter how awkward or distasteful or senseless it seems. You don’t have to evaluate the worth of the other before you give yourself to her/his/its well-being. You just have to do it, to care. And, I believe, love. You don’t have to like, but you do have to love.

So, what do you believe the world needs now?

I’d just love to hear it!

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