This Little Light of Mine

One of my favorite theologians was the anti-Nazi dissident, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Of the many things this very brave German pastor wrote, this is one I wish we could embrace today: “Judging others make us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

 Our homes, our society, our workplace, our government and even some of our churches, parishes and synagogues have slowly lost sight of what grace looks like (for anyone but themselves). If they haven’t gone completely blind they are at least suffering from impaired vision by wearing those dark shades with the words Righteous Indignation branded front and center. What’s concerning is both those on the left and the right of political ideologies or those on opposite sides of family or workplace disagreements are wearing the exact same brand of shades! No wonder we can’t see clearly on how to meet the other halfway. We’ve all forgotten what grace even looks like.

 Since it is us, the human race, that make up these institutions, it is up to you and me to shine a light of love and mercy rather than continue to participate blindly in private or public condemnation that seems to exist on every topic, at every turn.  We can’t look to “them” to change the course of our divisive country, our splintered families, or our fractured houses of worship. Change is reliant on the likes of you and me. Let’s love the fool out of people—especially those we disagree with.

Come light a candle with me. We can’t keep stumbling around in the dark. Someone, or maybe everyone, is going to get hurt.

Ellen Miller