Treating Wounds Carelessly

The world around us is both full of evidence of the joyous triumphs over the hardships of the past two-plus years, as well as the evidence of the desperate need to heal the gaping wound that continues to fester in our social structures and institutions.

We have suffered much loss of life due to the pandemic and suffer from an increasingly divisive social and political climate. And even though we are looking in the face of economic uncertainty, we can see that God has enabled many flowers to open in the desert times of life.

A couple of desert flowers that have popped up are the vaccination breakthroughs spurred on by the need for people to be freed from the fear of massive infection rates and death. Also, many people decided to give themselves over to service for others, especially those who suffered disproportionally during the pandemic, by helping them to get better education, secure living wage jobs, and gain access to adequate healthcare and affordable housing. These are a couple of examples of the healing flowers during the pandemic.

Even so, we have failed to properly tend to and heal the gaping wound found on the people who are different from others in ways that make many of us uncomfortable, because we may not fully understand or accept their culture, lifestyle, or social habits. The people who carry these open wounds in body, mind, and spirit, in most cases, have been created or made worse by our lack of love and attention for them, or our downright rejection of them as objects of our contempt and ridicule.

These are the human casualties that keep going uncared for and simultaneously swept under the collective rug of our society. We are in the midst of an epidemic of indifference, lack of knowledge, and regard for being God's stewards when we encounter them, though they make up a large part of our communities.

The Bible reading for Sunday comes from Jeremiah 8:18-9:1. However I suggest you read the entire eighth chapter through verse 9:1. The prophet Jeremiah, speaking for God, was deeply saddened and overwhelmed by the people of Judah's lack of care for those in the greatest need saying, "When people fall down, don't they get up?"

In present times, when we stumble because of our lack of love and care for the people who have been called undesirable, we must stand up and move toward God, over and against those who try to sweep them under the rug of life. We must care for the poor, the hurting, and the so-called "different" people whom God dearly loves.

When we stand up for God and others, we will find some who will react with violent resistance, but we must press on to support God's people anyway. A pastor had this quote at the bottom of her email messages. "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." - Dom Hélder Cãmara

Let us be God's loving, healing flowers during desert times. Amen.

Note: Dom Hélder Pessoa Cãmara was a Brazilian Catholic Archbishop. He was the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, serving from 1964 to 1985, during the military regime of the country. (Wikipedia).

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