Through vivid symbolism, Jesus was making a clear condemnation of the religious rulers who took it on themselves to judge who was in and who was out of God’s favor.
I have my own #MeToo stories and #ChurchToo stories. Yet, I also have #MissionsToo stories and they have yet to be given space in these movements.
None of us can be safe for everything. We have to choose what we will be safe for and what we will be unsafe for.
Sometimes people ask what it is like spending time in brothels with trafficking victims when I am powerless to do anything about it. This is it. It feels like a choice to love and a choice to give whatever I do have, even if it is only an offer to walk through the valley of the shadows alongside. I do it because the women and girls that I encounter are worthy of being loved. They are worth crying for when things do not turn out like I wanted.
Everything her traffickers did for her, providing food, clothing, and the bed she slept on or paying for her bus ticket to Bali, became a debt. And until she pays it off she cannot not leave the brothel premises. She hasn’t been outside the gate in four months.
The call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me… I am Moana. This declaration isn’t arrogance. When we understand that we are God’s beloved, uniquely and perfectly made, called to the wildness of his sea, there isn’t much left to do but walk in that knowledge. It changes everything. It empowers us to do what feels absurdly difficult. It allows us to live beyond ourselves for the good of others. It gives birth to joy and peace and love.
I struggle with a lot (most) of the pro-life movement’s rhetoric and norms. There are so many things that the pro-life movement pushes that are based on false information and false connections. There is good existing data that the pro-life movement ignores because it doesn’t feed the narrative that they push.
But what about the children for whom rescue never comes? What about the ones who will never be restored to their families or who will never play the role of a hero? Can God do nothing with their lives? Are they exempt from the affirmation that they are essential to the kingdom of God? Is participation in God’s kingdom limited only to those whose lives mirror Joseph’s story on some level?
“Sometimes, when we stare at pain day after day, we become numb to it. It hurts too much to care, so we stop caring.” I didn’t know how prophetic those words would be in my life.