I may get into some trouble for this post.
Maybe it’s too soon.
But I can’t help but notice a strange pattern in the church lately. When the riots in Charlottesville broke out, some churches said very little from the pulpit. That was fine. It happens. We’ve been here before. Nothing new. But when Hurricane Harvey hit, churches found their voice again and had much more to say all of a sudden.
I am in no way, shape or form saying that we should ignore Houston in favor of Charlottesville. I’m simply noticing a pattern the church falls into.
When disaster hits, we donate and pray. Because that’s very tangible. It’s simple. We know how to do that. But when injustice hits, you can’t donate it away. It’s complicated. It’s messy. And we don’t know what to do. So we don’t do anything.
It seems that we like to know that we can fix things or at least feel like we can fix things. So when something is unfixable, we tend to ignore it and hope it goes away. Justice is like a woman who gets hurt—she doesn’t want to be fixed; she wants to be listened to.
So I suggest the following response. When disaster hits, we donate and pray. When injustice hits, we dialogue and pray. We don’t always know what to say. Injustice is the fart in the room that no one knows how to respond to. And all it takes is one person saying, “This stinks!” It’ll feel awkward, it’ll be weird, but everyone’s thinking it. And once the ball gets rolling, we can get the conversation started. We don’t always know what to say. So we ask questions. We listen. But we don’t try to fix and we don’t ignore it when we can’t fix it.
All disasters matter—no pun intended. Whether it’s a white supremacist riot or a hurricane, everything deserves time and attention from the church—whether it’s easy or hard, clean or messy.