“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre And Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” – Luke 10: 13
A cruise ship passenger emerged onto the deck. He took a look around at the blue ocean and somewhat overcast sky. With a sour expression, he said, “Crappy morning.”
A nearby deckhand, busy with a mop and bucket, replied in a thick Cockney accent, “Many a blind man would’ve given his eye teeth to see what you’re seeing, governor.”
There are all sorts of poverty in the world. But perhaps one of poverty’s worst forms isn’t considered poverty at all. It is to become untouchable. To no longer be touched or moved by acts and signs of redemption and love.
This is surely the greatest curse of entitlement and privilege. All the efforts at creating and keeping distance work! You become “untouchable.” Not in the usual sense of that term. Rather, you can’t be touched emotionally, spiritually. You are bereft of the capacity for either great joy or godly sorrow.
Jesus had some harsh words for people who had stopped noticing, for people who weren’t awestruck and gracestruck when they had every reason to be. “If the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”
“What,” asked Annie Dillard, “do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered? Why does death so catch us by surprise, and why love?
“We should amass half-dressed in long lines like tribesmen and shake gourds at each other, to wake up; instead we watch television and miss the show.”
Come Holy Spirit, break me open and make me new. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. He is the author of many books, including What’s Theology Got to Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. You can read Tony’s “Weekly Meditation” and “What’s Tony Thinking?” at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.