Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


Life serves up all kinds of work. Some of it can be done immediately. Other tasks are seasonal in nature. Still others can only be undertaken over a lifetime.

Understanding what happened on Sunday morning, June 12, 2016 can be all in a day’s work if we decide that understanding is synonymous with having something or someone to blame. Understanding what happened—what is happening—belongs to the long haul if we see understanding as anything more. Some folk engage it like a plate of Edo Squid’s Penne Karl; the interpretive aftermath of an attack, that is. God forbid hungry Monday Morning Quarterbacks miss a moment to dive in.

By understanding I don’t mean certainty. I don’t mean a recommendation for so-and- so and I don’t mean an impassioned “here’s how it is” spiel. By understanding, what I think I mean is this: Having insight.

Along with the practice of proximity, love, risk, and sacrifice, insight characterizes a prophet in the Scriptures. Those faithful to the prophetic way—which Jesus chose— and so discipleship entails—exercise insight.

Pursue the insight that gives way to understanding. Only then, perhaps, is a response and response, not a reaction.

And in the meantime? To that question I pose another. Who are we if not a ‘under these circumstances’ people? Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. We celebrate the fact that there is something to do, someone to be in the meantime.

Jesus gives us ministry for now. One can grow in love while fishing for insight. In fact, we’re probably not fishing for insight if no opportunities to grow in love are surfacing because insight denotes looking in at the same time as we are looking out. I don’t know about you but when I look in, I spot a number of things left undone.

‘Under these circumstances,’ you can call a gay friend or greet a Muslim with the intent to bless. You can visit with your worrywart of a neighbor who may not even know what LGBT stands for and offer her a word of comfort, even as she’s liable to say things that aren’t at all insightful. For if love is what conquers hate, and the hate out there is as pervasive as folk on the radio and the television seem to think, then w e people of God and goodwill have some serious catching up to do. Vamos.