Benediction and Mission

Words of wisdom and challenge…

How can I respond?

How can you?

2012-03-06 17.48.37

From Rev. Jeremy Rutledge, Circular Church, Charleston, SC, this morning’s benediction.

A black man lay
at the side
of the road

and we looked
the other way

passed by
like a priest
with somewhere
else to be

walked on
like a Levite
who had
an appointment
with indifference.

It didn’t
happen
to us
we thought

but someone else
in Ferguson
Baltimore
or Baton Rouge.

A police officer lay
at the side
of the road

and we looked
the other way

passed by
like a priest
callous to
the sacrifice

walked on
like a Levite
with something
else on his mind.

That’s his job
we thought
he knew
the risk.

A gay woman lay
at the side
of the road

and we looked
the other way

passed by
like a priest
walked on
like a Levite

What can we do?
we asked
It couldn’t
have been predicted
we pretend

not in a country
overflowing
with guns
and anger
deeply dehumanizing
rhetoric
and our worship
of individual
whims
and prejudices.

A child lay
at the side
of the road
a schoolteacher
lay there
a moviegoer
a shopper
a veteran
a retiree
a brother
a sister
a friend
a colleague
lay at the side
of the road

and America
looked the other way
passed by
walked on

failing to imagine
it differently

failing to believe
in something better

failing to revere
the lives
we are given

and the life
of every last
one of us.

Weekly
we pass them
on the way
to church

where we tell stories
and ask
the question
whose answer
we already know:

but who is
my neighbor

if not every
black man
and police officer
and child
we see?

And what is
my response
if not to stop
looking
the other way.

C'mon. Say something! But play nice. All comments are moderated.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s