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O.A.K.

I am afraid.

I’m not, pardon the pun, afraid to admit it.

There is a lot of hatred out there.

Everywhere.

News. Internet. Blogs. Facebook. Instagram.

A lot of hate and anger.

Most of that hate and anger is directed at Christians. We are the new pariah; the new villain. Christianity is intolerant, hateful, judgmental, phobic. Think of a vile adjective and it has been hurled at Christians.

What is our response? Hunker down. Bunker down. Retreat into our communities of like minded people.

Take a look at one of those inwardly focused communities. There was a class of very religious men. Devout. Faithful to the rules. Pure and clean and undefiled. These men had very little love, mercy, or compassion. In their eyes, if you were suffering it was a punishment. Maybe you were at fault. Maybe your parents. Someone, somewhere was to blame for your misery.

This class of religious leaders were feared by the people over which they presided. They called anyone who deviated from their teachings as hypocrites. When they saw someone suffering, they passed on by. After all, the sufferer deserve what they got!

Into this morass of religious perversion a lone man appeared. He taught something very radical.

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I am not worthy.

I work in the darkness. I am a radiologist and in order to view the diagnostic images on my monitors, I must keep the room dark. I am surrounded continually by shadows. It is my world.

For the past few months, those shadows have slowly, inexorably moved into my world outside of work. They have slowly and quietly slipped along the floor and the walls and the ceiling with cold tendrils of blackness. The shadows have embraced me.

When I am strong; when I am attentive to the moving of God in my life, my mind, and my soul; when I pay attention to that still, small Voice; when I am seated at the foot of the cross the Light presses back the shadows. But, when I am weak; when I am troubled; when my attention is captured by the immediate and the urgent instead of the important I am distracted. I fail to look over my shoulder at the creeping darkness. I take my eyes off the Source of Life for my every breath.

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