God in the Flames: Reflections on the Riots

God in the Flames: Reflections on the Riots May 29, 2020

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We watch as violence engulfs our cities…and we have no idea what to do.  Maybe there is nothing to do.  Perhaps love is dead. Maybe there is no us left. Perhaps I is all that is. While the answers to such propositions are fleeting…perhaps there is more of an answer than you realize…crackling there in the flames.


Variations of the idols of injustice are everywhere. Daily we are asked to worship. Racism?  Sexism?  Capitalism?  (Don’t forget that this all started over some suspected counterfeit money.)  Transphobia?  Xenophobia?  Ageism? Homophobia?  Ableism?  The lists of marginalizations and oppressions are endless.  We know them well.  We spend most of our time kneeling in front of them…either by our actions or our inactions.  We don’t have to.  The idols are a product of our acquiescence to their objectives. They have no power on their own.


Many years ago, three seekers/protestors were faced with a difficult choice.  They were told that they could either worship the idols of injustice or face the flame.  While none of them wanted to die, they had also made the decision that worshipping idols was no way to live.  Boldly, they declared that they were ready to face the flames.  The keepers of the idols salivated over the moment.  They were going to make an example out of each one of them.  With a violent rush, they pushed them in.  Nothing happened.  The keepers of the idols had kept everyone in line by threatening them with the flames and here were the three seekers walking around unharmed. As they looked closer, they noticed there were now four people in the flames…with the fourth glowing as the incarnation of justice/love.  On that day, there was proven to be something more than injustice…something more than idols…an answer.


In the midst of all of the idol/injustice worship constantly going on all around us, I want you to stare deeply into the flames of this moment.  Look into the rioting…  Look into the anger… Look…   Realize that these seekers/protestors are not alone. The answers to the questions that trouble our souls are found in the destruction of idols…and the realization that God is standing in the flames.



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