Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
In the last year we’ve had a few acts of vandalism of our building. A few small markings with a permanent marker on an exterior wall, the doors of the blessing box were broken, the blessing box was pushed over, and then last week, two of our windows were broken. Any of these is distressing. Taken together, there is little doubt that this is all quite painful.
Some of this is easily fixed. Some will take some work (and money). But none of it is convenient.
I’ll confess that I’ve struggled with how to feel about it all myself. I suspect my own response aligns with yours, for the most part. Sad. Mad. Fear. Worry. Pity.
As a priest and rector, however, I’m mindful of more than our reactions. I’m mindful of what we do with those reactions. How we as a community process them. And I worry about the way grief and anxiety can affect any of our decisions.
The remarkable part of Jesus’s teachings is that they are all designed to pull us out of our Amygdala: the part of our brain that processes everything as either fight or flight. For our protection, it makes us choose between running away or destroying. Jesus commands us to walk a different path. To not succumb to fear or anger. To choose, instead, to love. And to stand up in the face of adversity.
We are fixing what is broken and looking at security solutions, which are thoughtful responses to the moment. But so is remaining visible to our community. Offering hope, love, and even forgiveness.