I had a very morbid dream the other night. I dreamt of a man who was stranded in the middle of a desert. The wind was gusty and the sky dark. On his knees, the man writhed in pain as his chest suddenly ripped open, exposing his beating heart. Out of nowhere, pin pricks began appearing on his arms and he slowly bled from each new opening. As he cried to God in agony, his face grew desperate and his eyes bloodied with tears.
For some strange reason, as the dreamer, I could feel his pain. It was the pain of this world. The pain of never having been good enough. The pain of always feeling inferior. The pain of longing for approval from the one person from his past who made him feel insignificant and worthless. The pain of being a second-class citizen.
A pain that every one of us has felt at some point on our journey.
It was heartbreaking . . . and familiar.
When I woke, I was greeted by my laptop with a rundown of the weekly news – which included: more victims coming forward in the Penn State scandal, a church banning an interracial couple from its walls and new women surfacing in the Herman Cain scandal. So I clicked over to facebook for a little mindless trolling. . .only to find my childhood church in similar disrepair.
What’s happening to us?
Children are being raped and abused (by priests, coaches, teachers and family members) and no one speaks up to protect them. Children are being bullied so severely that suicide seems like a better option than suffering through even one more day of school. Women are being sexually harassed by lustful politicians, only to have the media take aim at them. Humans are deciding who is and who is not good enough to kneel at the throne of God. Entire groups of people are demanding Christian/Muslim/Jewish monuments be taken down because religious symbols are too offensive to them. Gay folks are being treated like outcasts. Mothers are killing their children. Fathers are killing their pregnant wives. Our government is using faith as a ploy to control our votes.
Millions of people are bleeding in the desert, made to feel like second-class citizens by cowards.
Enough is enough.
When is this mayhem going to stop?
When we accept the fact that we are all precious and valued in the eyes of God; not one of us second-class. When we rise up, open our mouths and quit turning a blind eye to the sorrows of our neighbor. When we bravely fight for what’s right, hopeful and just – and not just for ourselves, but for one another. When we base our moral compass on love and common decency. When we quit searching for heroes on the TV and realize that our leaders are mere mortals. When we openly question our government, our churches, our rhetoric and our convictions. When we choose to base our politics, our religions and our families on the love and mercy of our Creator, rather than the love of ego, money, party politics and antiquated traditions.
When we look up, rather than down.
Cowards perpetuate hate and fear, heroes open their mouths and bravely stand (often alone) for what’s right.
I only hope to be half the hero that this kid is. . .
CLICK HERE for more information on Shannon Ivey.
Thanks, Anne Rice for the link to Jonah’s video.