Woe to you …

pointing a fingerWoe to you, lawmakers. You seek easy answers to hard problems and produce sound bites which trivialize our turmoil, placing blame and responsibility on anyone but yourselves.

Woe to you, self-righteous do-gooders, who give to charity but neglect your own children, who see money as the way to buy righteousness and avoid responsibility.

Woe to you, silent majority, who love to complain and lift not a finger to correct.

Woe to you, televangelists and false prophets. You prey on the vulnerabilities of people who need God, offering them yourselves instead, and at a high price.

Woe to you, vain mirror-dwellers, who place all value in appearance and outward style and fail to reflect any inward substance, having none to offer.

Woe to you, spewers of religious fervor – all froth and uproar – and with no promise of peace, for peace belongs to the prince you do not serve.

Woe to me, when I caustically point to the splinter in my brother’s eye, not even offering to remove it, because I vainly hope it will divert attention (even my own attention) from the log in my own heart.

Woe to me, filled with shiny plans and golden schemes, I leave undone the humble work before me. Too easily, I drop a project when it first is marred by my inevitable mistakes, not willing to recognize those failings as innate to me.

So dreams prevail but do not accomplish good for anyone but the dreamer.

I need to know the humility of completing a project, with all its awkward patches and mended seams, and offer something of substance to the world. It is in broken, earthen vessels that the Lord has chosen to make his home. The very cracks allow his presence to shine through. To be ashamed of mistakes is to be ashamed of the very humanness from which I am formed.

To hide what I have sullied is to preclude its redemption.

When I think that I must produce some perfect offering for God, I have missed the point. I must offer myself, and let the grace shine through.

[photo by Mykl Roventine per cc 2.0]

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