I’ve been thinking about stones this week.
Not rolling stones or building stones.
Definitely not stones taken from deep inside the earth to be polished and sold as adornment for overly groomed women with obscene wealth which needs to be flaunted.
The kind of stones I’ve been thinking about is the kind which lies on the side of the road.
Out of the way.
Removed from a field as it is readied for cultivation.
Or thrown aside, as the road was built, because it was inferior.
The kind of stones I’ve been thinking of is the kind which no one wants.
The kind which only takes up space.
Like Somalian & Ethiopian shopkeepers, killed as ‘blacks’ were once killed in a not-forgotten, or too soon forgotten past.
I’m wondering about freedom & the fight for justice.
Martin Luther King.
Before him, William Wilberforce.
Before him, Mahatma Gandhi.
The 14th Dalai Lama.
The list goes on.
And the ‘list’ would be contested.
The ‘list’ would be different, depending on where you live & what you were raised with.
Why is there a ‘list’, I wonder this week?
I wonder from my very Christian up-bringing.
Why, if God is, if Christ brings salvation – why is there not an overwhelming, uncountable crowd of people working towards a just society?
Where people are safe, regardless of race or heritage or gender or age.
Why is there still slavery?
Why is there still children growing up in poverty?
Why is there, just in my little bit of world, hundreds of thousands of children who do not have access to proper education, or running water or sanitation?
Why are shops being burnt & shopkeeper families destroyed?
If all these people who congregate on Sundays in expensive buildings, with state of the art sound equipment & highly trained pastors & ministers – if all of them have come into relationship with a God who is kind & gentle & loving, a God who is irresistible & powerful, a God who sets free & enables – why is the ones who make a difference so few that we are able to make a list?
And recognize them with peace prizes?
And hold them up as examples?
Why is it that so few of them come from Christian roots?
I’m not questioning God.
I’m thinking of what he said, as Christ, when he rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, fulfilling a prophecy.
If they be quiet, these stones will cry out.
Perhaps it is a warning?
Perhaps it is an encouragement?
‘Won’t you please forget about the system & stuff. Won’t you please see the people. The love. The relationship.’
For if you are quiet …
The stones will cry out …
And they will be stoned.
As they were.
When I came to be amongst you as one of you.
And they will be.
And you will not.
What immense wave would roll across our world if every Church, every Christian, started crying out?
Millions to be added to the ‘list’.
A world transformed.
A God honored.
But not today.
Surely not yesterday.