Monday Morning Jolt
Fair warning, my friends. I’m writing this primarily for myself. I woke up this morning feeling gray, drippy and overcast. Just like the weather. Miserable.
Were there reasons? There always are, aren’t there? Still, if I don’t put one foot in front of the other, this day will take longer to traverse than it otherwise would.
On my way down to make my morning smoothie, I picked up a small book I read when I was in graduate school. Less than 100 pages. Written in honor of one of the most beloved preachers of the Nazi era, Christoph Blumhardt. Speaking on behalf of those begging for a cup of cold water, he wrote the following:
We must not be silent. The social struggle of millions in our time is not a coincidence….The ferment in the nations, the agitation of the poor, the crying out for the right to live—a crying, given into the mouths of even the most miserable of [us], which can no longer be silenced—these are signs of our Lord Jesus Christ…They do not know that it is Jesus who wants it.” (Action in Waiting, p. 8)
Yet Blumhardt didn’t pour his entire life’s energy into political life. He saw that neither political nor church movements for social justice could deliver a final solution to the world’s agony. Instead, we long for human fellowship that both waits for and experiences the fulfilment of that for which we are created. Not simply in our places of worship, but in everyday life.
Was Blumhardt a dreamer? I don’t think so. I believe he saw within the misery of his world the seeds of something greater. Yet not so overwhelming that we can ignore right now the work to which we’re called daily. Especially in the midst of political, national, social, religious and economic warfare in which some are winners at great cost to everyone else.
Even so, he argued we’re not called simply to work for social justice. We’re called to delight in the beauty of each day:
The earth is so beautiful, the earth is so lovely and full of joy, every little midge rejoices, every tree rejoices; all things are arranged delightfully and beautifully by God so that we too can live and move among them in joy and graciousness…. (Action in Waiting, p. 25)
Finally, just as all nature is ordered toward its Creator, so too are we:
God has already put into us what God is and what God wanted to put into us so that we should become God’s image. (Action in Waiting, p. 27)
I’m not an outlier, and neither are you. We’re already in the vision held close in our Creator’s great heart. My work is to move in the right direction, do what I’m called to do, trust, fear not, and keep my eyes on the goal.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 17 April 2017
Photo found at pixabay.com, Golden Regulus
All quotes from Karl Barth, Action in Waiting, Plough Publishing House, 1969
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