We all struggle with an elementary fact of life: many people will refuse to care about what is important; to us, to life, to others, to God. Indeed, spun inwardly, it can be seen, we’re our worst enemies—so often we fail to care when roles are reversed.
Accepting this gargantuan truth; that is our task. Then life—as God would have us live it—can commence. From there, we’re afforded the grace for proper contention. We need this in responding to the things that would ordinarily hurt and disappoint us. This is the Ministry of the Right Response.
The Grace of Proper Contention
We know in our hearts that we must contend. But what for; what do we fight for in this life?
Love fuels whatever contention we offer to our worlds, not fear. Fear would light up contention in an ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ way. That clearly isn’t grace.
Yet, we do have this fighting instinct in us. So the point is not to fight against people and situations; it’s to fight for people and situations, injecting care.
Another more important point... God cares.
We draw our energy to contend properly in grace because inwardly we’re growing day by day. It’s because we know that God cares even though we see our world often doesn’t.
A Better Point Is, We Can Care
It’s beside the point, the swelling, overwhelming evidence to the contrary—the negligence of the world, including those in positions of authority discharging their duties irresponsibly (in our eyes).
The main point we can care. Advocacy can be our byword.
The fighting instinct raised earlier alludes to a path with a fork in the road—either we’ll fight badly and complain about the lack of care we see, or we’ll take up God’s cudgels and fight the good fight of advocacy.
It’s the weapon of moral value that we wield, for we believe it is right, and ‘right’ is imperative to us.
Against the world that lives ‘happily’ in a pit of varying morality—finding excuse not to care—we care anyway. And when we see others caring we salute them and join their ranks. When that fork in the path is taken we shall see more evidence of others fighting with the grace of proper contention, and bonds will form between us and them.
That is the Church.
We will care when everyone else doesn’t—and there is such a place and circumstance. We need to be on the lookout for it. This is our mandate from God.
Let’s not be fooled by thinking the world should care. We should care.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.