Let's Talk About God
Rector Chris Girata's latest article in the Katy Trail Weekly
I continue to be shocked by hate. Perhaps some people are desensitized at this point, but when a person hurts or kills other people with hate, such as we saw in Pittsburgh recently, I’m still shocked.
Evil is real, and none of us are immune to evil’s effect in the world. So why don’t I hear more people talking about it? Yes, it’s right to talk about violence in general or about specifics, such as smarter laws that can help protect all of us, but what about the root cause? We are only human after all, and our humanity is always vulnerable to the real presence of evil.
I admit that, as an ordained church leader, I wrestle with the idea of good and evil more regularly than most. But I think that many of us, if we stop and think about the world, likely understand the reality of good and evil. I believe the vast majority of us know that there are temptations and vices that pull us away from being the people we hope to be. Unfortunately, most of us are not fluent in the spiritual language that allows us to make sense of the ups and downs of our daily life.
Talking about God, talking about the spiritual reality of our world is quickly becoming a lost skill. I believe our grandparents and their parents before them knew this language. They knew how to speak about good and evil, about vice and virtue, and about love and hate. Generations before us talked about God and about the ways in which we are torn between the best and the worst of ourselves.
Put another way, generations before us knew that we are all beautifully created with light in our eyes. Have you ever noticed how happy people get when they see a baby? We all know the feeling of looking into the eyes of a newborn and being filled with hope. The hope we feel when we see true purity and possibility is the kind of hope we need to hold onto today. Life can get in the way, and as we grow, the light that was gifted to us can dim and darken if we do not attend to it.
Which brings me back to the current state of our world. No one can be satisfied with where we are as a society. We are bombarded daily with negativity and stories of pain that can quickly feel like a weight dragging us down. But what if we began to talk more openly about God? What if we began to talk more openly and frequently about faith, hope and love that are gifts of the Spirit, gifts that can still transform the world? And what if we began to see ourselves as the tools through which that change can happen?
Last week, I was walking through Preston Center and from a distance, I saw a man who seemed to be asking people for help on the sidewalk. As I watched, a woman walked out of a salad shop with a to-go bag in her hand. She stopped to speak with the man and very quickly handed her bag to him. His gratitude was apparent. She turned and made her way back into the salad shop and got back in line ahead of me to purchase a second salad for herself. This random act of kindness won’t solve the problem of poverty in our city, and it won’t even solve the problem of poverty for that man. But on that day, he had a very good lunch.
You might call that generous or humane or sweet, but I call her act holy. In that single moment, unseen by the world at large, one person did a small act with big love and made a regular weekday a sacred experience. If we can change the way we understand the world and begin to see one another through sacred lenses, perhaps we can turn the social tide back toward God’s goodness and love and be the kind of healing this world needs most.
Tags: Rector's Blog