Tired of Assumptions

June 7, 2020

I am tired. No, not just tired but downright bone weary.

Why?

I am glad you asked.

I am tired of what is happening among those God created in the divine image. Bone weary.

I am tired of men speaking for women and women speaking for men – assumptions filtered through the preconceived thoughts of the speaker.  Let each speak their own truth!

I am tired of straights speaking for gays.  And gays speaking for straight – assumptions filtered through the preconceived thoughts of the speaker.  Let each speak their own truth!

I am tired of whites speaking for people of color – and people of color speaking for whites – assumptions filtered through the preconceived thoughts of the speaker.  Let each speak their own truth!

I am tired of the rich speaking for the poor – and the poor speaking for the rich – assumptions filtered through the preconceived thought of the speaker.

I am tired of the term ‘victimless crime.’ Without a victim – where’s the crime?

I am tired of having verbal ‘bones of recognition’ thrown in the direction of the ‘under served,’ ‘under represented,’ the ‘under privileged’ as though token positions and token words  are enough.  Put meat on those bones by acting – no showboating – let the actions speak!

I am tired – bone weary – of living in a valley of dry bones – the dried remains of battles past – the remnants speaking to the futility of anger and hatred played out leaving only anonymous death in its wake. 

I fall back again on Ezekiel 37:1-14 and its stark reality of the valley bones.   God asks the human – can these bones live?  Can you imagine – God asks the human about potential life in the midst of hopeless death! 

Ezekiel wisely professes that God alone knows the answer!  God performs a miracle – life is breathed into the bones – life from death – thank be to God!  Typically that is where we end our reading – after the gee whiz exciting part!

Yet, in what I feel is the pivotal part of the scripture, God teaches: 

“Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’  Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

God will raise up life from death – breathe God’s very spirit within those who were beyond hope, and let them begin again.

WHY?

So that humanity knows Who is God and who isn’t.  With that wisdom played out perhaps things will be different this time around…..

That scripture has never been more applicable than it is right now.

We as civilization are becoming a hopeless pile of dried bones – if God were to ask us if this civilization can be redeemed would we be wise enough to humbly answer – God, You alone know?! 

Would we be willing to admit that we have fallen into a death spiral due to our anger and hatred toward ‘the other’ – those we assume to speak for – and condescend to accommodate?

I have been thinking of this a lot for quite sometime – but never so much as now. 

I am tired of assumptions we make about each other – assumptions that lead to misunderstanding, projected rage, isolation, and futile attempts to make the dead alive in our own power, for our own purposes, to accommodate our own desires……

And as I have thought about these things, I wonder…

What if all men and women, gay and straight, people of all colors – the multitude of other forms of ‘other-ness’ – basically, the whole human race – were to take a knee – not in protest, but in humble vulnerability and listen for God to tell us the divine desire for all creation.

Know what we would hear?  Three scriptures come immediately to mind.

            Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

            Matthew 23:37 – Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

            Mark 12:28b-31 – Which commandment is the first of all? Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

We know the words – we piously speak the holy words for God – but if these holy words were spoken – apart from our personal assumptions as to how the words should be heard – would we be willing to listen?   

Knowing and speaking those words in our own voices has not brought life to civilization one whit. We need to let God speak for God’s self – in God’s own voice – as we stop talking and listen!

And if we choose to listen – what are we to do with what we hear? 

Take a knee in the presence of each other – stay down in the dust of our common mortality and look each other in the eye – listen to each other speak for themselves!

Release all arrogant assumptions – all tokenism. Listen to each other – finally listen – to the cry of each and every heart!  For each and every heart is indeed crying out regardless of how together many of us try to be! 

We all long to be heard – but is anyone listening? 

And if we choose to listen – really listen – to God and to ‘the other’ – what then? 

Ah, THEN these bones can live!  We can rise from the dust and stand together knowing how best to assist each other in becoming God’s best!   And make the journey home as one humanity – embraced by One God. 

Aren’t you tired of being tired?  Me, too! Time to take a knee and listen to God and each other!

And to God be the glory!  AMEN.

Check out the latest In the Stillness, here!

Published by Pastor Catharine

Retired ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. I have a Master's of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry (with an emphasis on Spiritual Transformation of Community) from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

One thought on “Tired of Assumptions

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. Each week as things seem to go more diabolical than the week before, your thoughts have been inspiring, good, and true. This week as we all are tired of being tired you have provided the road map to the way-out. It’s a well-known but not well-used map and it jumps from the page at me as if it was a treasure map to the long lost secret of life. Oh my, you have done it this time, Preacher Woman, and I thank you and am praying to follow this map to it’s clear destination. Amen.

    Like

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