Yesterday, we went up to the monument for our staff meeting. No real agenda except a brief time out of the office for prayer. The plaque at the top of the monument always gets me thinking… a tribute to a man who died within reach of help, but didn’t make it – abandoned by his friends. I often wonder if that’s still happening today? People dying for eternity – abandoned by the church.
It’s not that we don’t care. I’m not so cynical as to think that most people in the church really don’t give a rip about their neighbors. We do. But I’m afraid we’ve forgotten just what is at stake.
A team from our church just returned from Haiti and they’re talking about how dark a place it is. The voodoo and witchcraft that are so visible there have made the evil palpable. This thought of blatant darkness has converged in my mind with some recent conversations and sermons having to do with the materialism so prevalent in our own Western culture. We have so much – and often what we have has blinded us to the spiritual reality that without Christ, we are dead.
As I looked out over the view of our community from the top of the Bluff, I noticed that there are a lot of white buldings in town. Coupled with the glitter of glass on the sunny day, Scottsbluff looked like a shiny, bright sparkle in the midst of the browning fields.
As these contrasting thoughts collided, Nehemiah came to mind, surveying the city of Jerusalem and finding the rumors of desolation and destruction to be true. When we survey our cities, do we look beyond the glitz to see the grime?
A beautiful darkness has crept upon us –
—-but darkness, nonetheless.
This beauty illumined is no beauty at all –
—-but greed, and pain, and death.
But who wants to expose the ugly?
–—“Paint the town white!”
—-“Cover it up with a little shine!”
So we whitewash our tombs,
—-extinguish our lights,
—-and go blind to what’s dying inside.