As I've wrestled with the dynamics and implications of this, I've realized that the heart of the question is whats been lingering beneath the heart of my pastoral self. It's multifaceted, it's annoying, and I'm not really sure that it has any particular resolution. In fact it might be dangerously and tragically rhetorical. "What's it gonna take?" Being in the pastoral arts profession, most of my wrestling comes from a community of faith, followers of Jesus,sort of place. So I'll ask you who claim the faith that I claim, "What's it going to take?"
- before we wake up to the destructive realities of depression and get us to quit treating it like there is a "pull yourself up by your own boot straps, fake it till you make it" solution and to act like a transparent community of broken and struggling wanderers on a common journey.
- to convince us of the insidious nature of Satan and his propensity for separating and isolating.
- to pull the ear buds out of our ears, pull our heads up from our "not so" smart phones, stop listening to Siri and start listening to each other ... and I'm referring to we, the "church/Jesus" people.
- for us to take down the invisible, yet very apparent, "you must fit in" signs that hang from too many of our worship centers
- to convince us that many of the broken people that we are called to love might very well not be homeless at all...they might in fact be "living the life I've always dreamed of".
- to accept that Facebook and Twitter friends do not equal relational "how are you doing really?" types of relationships
- for us to understand that "celebrity", even within the Christian context, is not the end of all want and need and the reward for a life well lived.
If this latest loss to our culture has done anything for me it has hammered home how much more we stand to lose while we, the people of Jesus, stand on the side and sheepishly withold what we ourselves have already been offered ... love, caring, community, hope, redemption, healing, relationship, wholeness, salvation ... need I go on?