Write the Vision

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministry

Not for nothing have I been praying over how best to teach our children about discrimination. It is the world they are living in now and it is the world they inherit from us. The year of 2016 has been a toughie for even me, the middle-class white artist with a stable job - not to mention for those who live in real fear in our nation. I want our kids to be good at calling out injustice, at seeing humanity from God's eyes. But how *does* God see us? How does God see ALL of us?

A few weeks ago, our Sunday school class talked about how the Bible is a document of "bottom-up" thinking - that is, a historical and holy text surrounding how God calls the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor and the "unclean" to be at the forefront of grace and love (Richard Rohr; Howard Zinn). God chooses the rejected son, or the leper, or the sinner. As Rohr says, "While much of history is written from the top down, one of the few subversive texts in history... is the Bible! The Bible is most extraordinary because it repeatedly and invariably legitimizes the people on the bottom, and not the people on the top." The Bible is interested in those who feel powerless, because from that place of openness God can create a new kind of power - a power we are probably unable to recognize in most instances. Sometimes it looks like plain old sharing - whose turn is it, etc. Sometimes it might look like we are losing something that we thought was precious. Sometimes it might look chaotic. Sometimes it might make us question who we are.

I asked the question of our Sunday School class that I try to ask of myself: who is invisible in our world? And if I am one of the visible, what does God - what does Love - call me to be for the invisible?

I do not pretend to know anyone else's politics, nor do I think God cares much about the human hierarchy we've created to run ourselves. God does care about Love - the words we say in Love and the actions we take in the name of Love. After all, Love is just another name for God itself.

There is no getting around this statement, for me; there is no addendum, no fine print, no sub-clause. If there is any argument that somehow gets around it, I cannot in good conscious see how it is of God.

And how to begin? We want actions, we want direction. It is hard to know how to translate the parables. I usually don't know. Except a few weeks ago in church, an easily-missed Old Testament scripture called out to me at the 9AM service while I was thinking about breakfast. The voice from the pulpit called out,

"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it."
                                                                       Habakkuk 2:2, NRSV

It may mean something different to you, but for me it meant: speak Love now, speak it clearly and without stuttering. Make the world see what it means and do it quickly.