I’m not sick.
This is more than just a winter season and a lack of sunshine. It’s a reckoning. Not a despair because if there is anything I am absolutely certain of it’s that God is good, God is faithful and we are neither.
I want a job where I don’t care. I want to get up in the morning, eat my breakfast without thinking about those who go hungry. I want to be able to take a hot shower without thinking about the foul water in Haiti. I want to be able to turn up the heat without thinking about who slept on the streets last night. I want to fill up my car and not think about my son who doesn’t own a car and who spends far too much time in his life trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B, and the thousands of others like him. I want to have coffee with a friend without wondering if her husband is safe in Afghanistan. I want to open a book and read it without worrying about whether books will exist in 10 years. I want to write a book without worrying about whether the message of it is commercial enough to appease some publisher. I want to have a friendship without wondering whether that person is a real friend or just somebody who thinks I’m the person who can help propel their career while mine languishes. I want to be able to choose whom I associate without being categorized as either uppity or a loser. I want to be able to snuggle up to my husband at night and not think of the dozens and dozens of young war widows sleeping alone. I want to dream through a night without hearing the cries of children abused and neglected.
Reading ruins a person.
It makes them think.
And if it’s the Bible they are reading, all the worse.
Because then thinking isn’t enough.
Then you have to do something.
Then you have to care.
Because that’s what real religion is. That’s what James said. Real religion is caring.
You can read it yourself but I caution you, reading is dangerous. Reading James in particular can be hazardous to your mental health:
Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.