• Joia

Today's rhaps is on ... Neighbors

Updated: Dec 16, 2020


Neighbors (Italian Windows 3) by Yevgenia Watts, 2013

​Much of American culture, and therefore Evangelical, is adversarial. Black or white, red or blue, good or bad, as if the entire spectrum of reality were simply on or off. As if day and night glowed bright or dark for exactly twelve hours each without the turning of the earth, as if God were flipping a pancake instead of setting planets on their magnificent celestial spheres.


The pain inflicted on those of us condemned by history to the shadows is incalculable. We reel from shade to shade within the infinite variation of human judgment, within a neverending twilight of discomfort. We forgive. And forgive. We die a million deaths for the sins of those in charge, poor for rich, black for white, girls for men, mothers for the impregnating fathers. We pay for their choices. Within this perversion of backwards causality, as if our Time could run faster than the speed of light, we try to love. We watch our neighbors zoom by while denying the very frames upon which they cling. We forgive them for they know not what they do. We swing our chariots low and continue on, heads bowed, hoping for dystopian redemption. There is none. Redemption lies in the ether, in each others' souls, in the Grace that lifts us from this Gravity. We rise again and again, squinting to see past the luxury of falsehoods to the human heart of their being.


We struggle to love our neighbors as ourselves because we cannot love ourselves. We have been taught that we are subhuman, that we are hated. By our neighbors. We watch as our neighbors wake up for a minute, shocked, after watching the horrific snuff film of George Floyd, as they did for a moment after the Civil War, after liberating the Nazi death camps, as they do each time an obedient soldier, or serial killer, directs them to the graves of the mutilated girls and boys.


We are tired.


We forgive, we love, imperfect and human.


We hope.


12 DECEMBER 2020

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