"My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?" - Psalm 6:3
Watching the news from Charlotte this week and speaking with pastor friends there has left me somewhat deflated not just over the condition of my home state but our country. Seeing yet another image of a black male gunned down in Oklahoma last week and the subsequent reactions has me asking what is wrong with our country?
I can imagine some reading this are ready to tee off. "It started with taking prayer out of the schools; it continued with certain Supreme Court decisions; it's a result of the secularization of our society." Others might jump on lack of gun laws, inadequate censorship of violence-related material and racial discrimination.
Athletes kneeling or sitting during national anthems is growing. I see in such actions people looking for a way to voice the desire for things to be different. We all wonder what can we do and how can we be heard? Let's keep asking that question. In fact, there are a couple of great events coming in the next ten days designed to help us think about ways we can be the difference we want to see in our world.
The first is the Faith and Action event this Thursday, September 29, at Clowes Hall, Butler University at 7PM. The event is free and open to the public but you must register and can do so here. The theme of the night is "Poverty, Equality and Opportunity: What's a Community to Do?" and will be led by David Brooks, New York Times columnist and author, and Tavis Smiley, national talk show host. St. Luke's member, Lindsey Rabinowitch is the coordinator for this event. If you have questions you can contact her at .
Second will be an event at called The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values at Light of the World Church Monday, October 3, at 6:30PM. You can find more information here. This will be led by two foremost preachers in America, Dr. William Barber and Dr. James Forbes. Dr. Barber was born in Indianapolis and is now president of the North Carolina NAACP. Dr. Forbes is the former pastor of the prestigious Riverside Church in NY and a native North Carolinian. I'm sure both will share their own personal concerns over events in Charlotte. Given the very awesome united service for racial reconciliation we just hosted and shared with Light of the World Church, I hope we will have a crowd to attend this event!
Perhaps our desire to find just what we can do about the troubling issues in our world will encourage us to attend these events. I hope to see you there.
Psalmists would often pour out their lament to God over the conditions of the world that seemed so far removed from the kind of world God promised. They would plaintively cry, "How long, O Lord?" But soon those cries would go from hopeless bellows to girded convictions. Eventually people of faith moved from despair to action and looked for what they could do to participate in the better world God wants for us. "How long?" means we need your help, Lord. But it also recognizes the Lord helps through helpers. As St. Augustine famously wrote, "Without God we cannot; without us God will not."