This morning we learn of yet another mass shooting in our country. That hurt, hurts us all. Don’t you feel the pain?
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26
Linda Washington talks about a friend who suffered from a kidney stone: “Isn’t it interesting that something so small can cause a whole body so much agony? But in a way, that’s what the apostle Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 12:26: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” Throughout chapter 12, Paul used the metaphor of a body to describe Christians around the world. When Paul said, “God has put the body together” (v. 24), he was referring to the entire body of Christ—all Christians. We all have different gifts and roles. But since we’re all part of the same body, if one person hurts, we all hurt. When a fellow Christian faces persecution, grief, or trials, we hurt as if we’re experiencing that pain.”
That applies to every person on earth, not just Christians.
I was blessed to have had numerous opportunities to hear Rev. William Barber speak. He was often in Indianapolis because that is where he was raised. I often heard him say, “when one hurts, we all hurt”.
“We believe we’ve got to shift the narrative of this country. And the only way we can do it is people have got to put their lives and their bodies on the line. You have preachers and poor people and impacted people who are in these lines. And we’re willing now to engage in an act of moral civil disobedience to drive home what is going on. We believe that injustice is happening in the halls of Congress and in the halls of state capitols around this country.” Rev. William Barber
Rev. Barber has been on the streets, putting his body on the line, being arrested for civil disobedience. He organized and led the Moral Mondays movements, and the new Poor People’s Campaign.
He wrote an article in Friends Journal calling on Quakers to get back into the public square. https://jeffkisling.com/2018/05/23/into-the-public-square/
We live in a time of spiritual poverty. We suffer and hurt from the pain others experience daily in this country. These continuous assaults wear us down to the point too many of us begin to feel there is nothing we can do.
But that is exactly why people of faith need to be showing what can be done. Demonstrating that there is hope.
We can become more involved with our Quaker organizations such as the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Friend World Committee for Consultation (FWWC), and Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW).
We can become more involved in non-Quaker organizations, such as Bold Iowa, and Indigenous Iowa. We can become involved with today’s Poor People’s Campaign. We could have spent a week walking 94 miles, learning about Native Americans and other environmental activists on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March.
We need to seek out new opportunities to ease the suffering of others, which will also ease our own suffering.
What we should not do is feel helpless. People of faith know the Spirit will guide us, and show us how to be our brother’s keeper.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ― Neil Gaiman