A Pharisee And His Loss

I'm in the blogging mood this morning. I'm never in a blogging mood in the morning. It might be the 2 shots of espresso I had.

I find myself awkward at the idea of what I'm about to broadcast, because its point isn't for sympathy, but as a vital part of my processing about ministry in the inner city.

In light of one of Lukes recent posts, I can't help but smile at the irony of my truck being stolen last Wednesday night.

The lock to our parking lot was cut. Truck locks bypassed. Hot Wired (Who knows how they got it out, but according to the tire marks in the snow, it took a couple of tries)?

My favorite part is picturing the mounds of snow that must have had to been scraped off before it was even drivable.

I wonder if they adjusted the mirrors also before they took off?

In reality though, while it is immediatley inconvenient, in the scheme of life, this is about as meaningful as a stubbed toe. I came to live in this neighborhood, prepared to possibly give my life. So in the days after a stolen truck, its only produced a gratefullness that at least I still have a lot more valuable things to sacrifice.

Yet, its made me think a lot about love, grace, justice and forgiveness.

When asked who the pharisees of our day are, Shane Claiborne responded “Me. The Pharisees of today are people like me. White, educated males. We are the Pharisees.”

I am both intrigued and confused by this answer. It's about me and I struggle to understand it, let alone avoid perpetuating its truth.

So what does it mean that I assume the person who took my truck is not like me at all; a black, uneducated male?

What does it mean that in one moment I pray the thief will come to understand Ephesians 4:28, but in the next moment I hope he crashes the truck into a tree?

I struggle to know, with Jesus hanging on the cross in the middle of two criminals, on which side is my thief?

Would he confess or curse my savior? Has he answered this? To what extent is this trespass against me, a trespass against the one in whose name I come?

Should I pray for him or shake the dust off my feet?

I was asked by someone, if he was to be caught, would I press charges?

I certainly have not come to this neighborhood to facilitate our countries brand of justice.

Yet, would I get the audience with this person to express how unneccesary his actions were? Would I be allowed, or even able, to extend grace to him in a meaningful way? Would I be a a resounding gong and clanging cymbal or would I speak the words of life? Would I even want to meet him?

On which side of the cross is my thief?

For me, this is the whole tension. How do I break down cultural barriers in the name of my God without building them myself? How should I hope and pray and how should I rebuke? How should I love and how should I bring justice? How should I feel and how should I sacrifice?

How should I discern if I'm poor in spirt or if I'm just a pharisee; a white, educated male at the feet of my savior?

God have mercy.

**EDIT: Sorry for the mis-use of any scripture for my own purpose, hopefully the train of thought is understood.


Nic said...

i admire this.