Kenneth L. Samuel
"One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, 'As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small. Let's go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet.'" - 2 Kings 6:1-2
"PLEASE EXCUSE THE MESS. WE ARE BUILDING TO SERVE YOU BETTER."
You've seen the signs haven't you? New construction is messy, no doubt, but it always says something about the vision of the ones who undertake it. It says that somebody has recognized the constrictions of current operations and has decided to invest the time, energy and resources necessary for expansion.
New construction and building expansions are messy, but not as messy as attempting to ensconce broad visions into narrow structures; not as messy as trying to see a panoramic view through a myopic lens; not as messy as pouring new wine into old wine skins; not as messy as subjecting the vistas of the universal to the constructs of the parochial.
When democracy works right, it's messy. Justice always seems to travel down tumultuous roads of stops and starts; pain and progress; exhilaration and exasperation.
Yet, the new construction continues, as more of us recognize that many structures of the status quo are still too narrow to fully accommodate whole classes of disenfranchised people.
The recent Supreme Court rulings on the Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action and Gay Marriage have caused some of us to rejoice and others of us to recoil. But whatever the reaction, I take heart in knowing that in America, the ground is still shifting, and new constructs of public policy and social consciousness are still being created.
If you're going to make an omelet, you've got to crack some eggs.
Excuse the mess while we build a more perfect union.
God we are so grateful that our visions do not have to be limited to the perimeters of our current context. Give us the commitment and courage to carry on the construction of more inclusive habitats for humanity. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.