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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Delvaux

In a Shipwreck

As I watched the events unfold yesterday afternoon and evening, it was tempting to say how surprising they were, how shocking, how unprecedented. Tempting to say all that, yet they are not true. If yesterday was surprising, I wasn’t paying attention. If it was shocking, I was insulated. If it was unprecedented, I never noticed the slow build up of actions and rhetoric.

Yesterday was the natural outgrowth of the brokenness of within our nation and our humanity. Yesterday was a moment begging each of us, begging our nation to truly examine ourselves and our actions.

I spent four years studying political science. As a lover of history, I particularly am engrossed by the era surrounding the Revolutionary War. My brother was obsessed with the Civil War. Conversations about history and politics, revolution and civil war are normal family conversations to this day.

Yesterday and all that led up to that moment of the halls of Congress being invaded by violent extremists still exists in our nation this morning. It will still exist in our nation tomorrow and next week and next month. All I’ve studied about the basics of how we as humans, the political creatures we are, tells me the symptoms and the infection of this moment will persist. I know the roots of this moment go far beyond the present administration and are far older and more deeply woven into our society than we want to admit.

We must come to terms with the reality of the present moment, the past which created it, and the value systems that perpetuate it.

I have seen and heard the rhetoric. I was insulated, but not ignorant. I was paying attention. Yesterday horrified me, but did not surprise me.

The question for each of us this morning is, what are we going to do about it?

It may be easy to say it is a political issue or too big for me to deal with. Bluntly, you’re lying to yourself if you say that. Each of us must take action. Each of us must speak up. Each of us must act. We must find ways, each day to advocate not for racism, violence, lies, and ignorance. We must find ways to speak and act, no matter how small for justice, truth, knowledge, wisdom, and to lift up the voices and actions of those around us who are active in the building of the reign of God.

Even in a world that is being shipwrecked,

remain brave and strong.

St. Hildegard of Bingen

I know for far too many they have had no option but to be brave and strong for far too long as they battle so many of the injustices I am privileged enough to not face. All I can say is it is time for all of us to brave and strong. To step out into the storm, to risk the shipwreck. We must.

That which we saw yesterday was not of the reign of God. It was not of Jesus. We must bravely in small every day steps and in larger systemic efforts, build the reign of God. We must act and speak as Jesus. We must. We follow a God who spoke words of freedom and love. Who healed and empathized. Who overturned tables and challenged unjust institutions. Who loved sacrificially. We are called to live up to our name, Christians, little Christs. Silence, passivity, apathy, willful ignorance, and sequestering in the safety of privilege or entitlement is not a moral option.

Where do you stand in the midst of the shipwreck?

What will you do as the storm rages?

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