November 6th is just around the corner. Millions of Americans will be casting votes for candidates and ballot measures of their choosing. It seems our state and nation is polarized politically, culturally and generationally. It seems politicians and ballot measures promise answers to all the problems. It’s strange that the “answers” that one politician has is in direct opposition to the “answers” from the next. Not only do the “problems” divide us but the “solutions” broaden the chasm of divisions further yet.
Hopefully, you are still reading after the first paragraph with its political overtones. This blog isn’t about politics or solutions; it’s more about problems. I know what Jesus has called me to do is far different than what I hear in sound bites, news feeds or conversations at the coffee shop. Jesus didn’t come to make me a judge of the problem; he came to make me a doctor. He didn’t come for me to be a problem monitor; he came to set captives free!
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
This passage from Isaiah that Jesus read in the synagogue 2000 years ago has arrested me on several occasions. I needed to be reminded of this again a few weeks ago. The reminder came in the form of a 7-year-old boy. He was sitting at the back of the chapel; I could see from his body language that something wasn’t right. I put my hand on his shoulder and asked, “Is everything okay?” My question was simple, his answer was complex. He looked right at me with tears in his eyes and didn’t say a word. His look said more in a moment than could ever be expressed in a novel. Nothing more was spoken other than “I love you!”
That little boy in that moment with his tears didn’t care about my solutions, political affiliation, cultural background, ethnicity or even the generational difference. The only thing that mattered to him was that I loved him most.
Maybe, just maybe I don’t know as much as I think I do. Maybe my solutions, my opinions, my ideas, my fixes, my understanding about him and what he needs are limited to my very own paradigm? Maybe I don’t know…. Maybe I don’t have an answer…. Maybe I really don’t understand…. I’m not called to know or understand or have the answer. I’m called to love most! I’m called to set prisoners free!