I know that it’s a very trendy thing to do… that of buying a YETI tumbler to keep one’s drink super-cold for a long time. You’ve seen the really hip people with one in their hands. Made of brushed stainless steel they promise the latest and greatest technology in terms of insulated drinkware. And I have to admit that I really like the one I purchased last week. When people come into my office, I can tell that they struggle with “tumbler envy.” I just nonchalantly reach for mine and rattle the ice around a little bit. My morning Mountain Dew hangs around all day, carefully insulated by high-tech foam and stainless steel walled construction.
As I think about the recent events in our nation… the way that violence and evil continue to raise their heads, I find myself wishing for a little more insulation. There is a part of me that wishes I could shield myself and those whom I love from all the tragic and terrible winds that tend to blow through our culture. I wish I could shield this generation from the anger of violence, the injustice of prejudice, that ugliness of racism, and the fear of uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just surround my family with high-tech foam and stainless steel? Wouldn’t it be great if I could just keep all the evil out?
Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I have been cloistering myself away too much already. Maybe I could make a difference with presence, voice, and activism… if I would but choose “to light a candle instead of just cursing the darkness.” Maybe it’s not enough to kneel behind a closed and locked door and pray for protection. Maybe it’s time to be salt and light. I wonder… until all families are safe and all homes are secured and all races are respected, have I met my moral and Christian obligation to love my neighbor? I can always shake my head and say, “It sure is a pity about what happened to that guy on the news.” But then I remember that the guy on the news is someone whom Christ loved and died to redeem. Christ appreciates the value, dignity, and worth of every person. How can I do anything less?
So maybe it’s not a bigger YETI that I need, but a bigger heart, a broader vision, and deeper compassion. Maybe it’s time for intentionality on my part. Maybe it’s time get more involved. Maybe the walls that I want to build to keep me safe are the very walls that keep me from being the presence of Christ in the world. The time for indifference and non-involvement is long gone. I John 4:20 “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”