Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” – Matthew 2:13 (NRSV)
I don’t know if I would have helped hide Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It’s easy to tell myself I would have. Who wants to think they would turn away Jesus?
When I try to imagine what I would have done then, I can’t help but consider what I’m doing now.
There are people running for their lives now. There are parents risking everything to save their children from the egos and violence of heartless rulers now. There are unjust laws and people willing to help enforce them now.
And I’d like to say I’ve risked everything I can to help the holy families of our time, but I’m unsure that’s true.
I ask myself why I haven’t risked more, and it varies by day. Some days I feel too exhausted. Sometimes I’m scared. Sometimes I’m just breathing deeply, hoping the next moment that I’m the target of oppression comes later than sooner.
I get an internal feedback loop telling myself I’m doing all I can when I can. But I’m starting to reckon with the fact that this simply isn’t true.
My friend and I were talking about what people of faith are called to do in this moment, and she said we are all called to skill up our capacity for risk. And I agree, starting with me.
Risk may not look the same for all of us, but we can’t continue business as usual when people need refuge and righteous protection.
It’s time to get risky in new ways. Expand my capacity for risk so that I may be a vehicle for liberation.