by Kenneth Justice
~Have you ever felt unimportant? As though your life seems irrelevant? As though you’re somehow disconnected from the things that matter most?
As I was standing outside The White House over the weekend I couldn’t help but feel from disconnected to everything that was going on inside.
Think about it; inside The White House, the President, his various aids, generals, senators, and all sorts of other dignitaries are regularly making decisions that effect hundreds of millions of people……and the rest of us are on the outside looking in.
Sure…..we ‘elected’ some of these officials (we did not directly elect the Generals and various Presidential appointees) but somehow that little pencil mark we make at the ballot box doesn’t seem very big.
Life in the Western World has become all about who you know;
—) Got a degree? Good luck finding a job without knowing the right person
—) Want to get into The White House, good luck unless you know the right person
—) Want to get a literary agent or talk to a publisher about getting your first manuscript printed, good luck unless you’ve got connections
This is an issue that many young adults complain about; they feel cheated having spent a lot of energy, time, and money pursuing a college education only to find out that because they don’t know the right person, getting a good job seems almost impossible.
Sure, I’ve written in the past about the value of hard work in the face of difficulties…..sometimes you have to start out on the bottom to get to the top.
Yet, I can’t help but think that the people on the top have become far too disconnected from…. well….everyone else below them!
One of the things that really bugs me about most of the church’s I am familiar with is that this phenomenon of knowing-the-right person is almost always at play. Consider the following scenario;
—> A famous guest speaker is coming to the local Church on Sunday…guess who is going to pick him/her up at the airport and spend the afternoon with them prior to the speaking engagement,
–) Is it the janitor of the church, nope
–) Is it one of the poorer families of the church, nope
–) Is it someone at the bottom of the church, nope
The person who picks up the (famous) guest speaker from the airport is inevitably the person at the top of the church; the Priest, the Pastor, the head Deacon, etc.
In fact, in the conservative Evangelical circles which I grew up in, the ‘famous Christian authors, speakers, pastors, and whatnot all huddle together like they are in a little fraternity. The Christians who could really benefit from one-on-one time with these famous dignitaries are given scraps thrown to them during the formal public speaking engagements.
Could you imagine Jesus spending the majority of his time hanging out with the people on the top? Ya’ know why he didn’t……cause he was Jesus! That is what was so revolutionary about him (whether you believe in a literal Jesus of Nazareth isn’t the point)…..the biblical narratives paint a portrait of a dude who spent the overwhelming majority of his time with;
—) The poor
—) The sick
—) The hurting
—) The fatherless
And when Jesus got around to hanging out with the important religious people of his day…..what did he do; HE CRITICIZED THEM! How’s that for ya! What a crazy dude that Jesus was; he spent most of his time demonstrating love towards the poor……and in his spare time he condemned the hypocrisy and nastiness of the religious leaders of his day.
Can you see why the biblical Jesus is someone that I really look up to? The life example he led blows away the ridiculous human nature that we’ve all grown accustomed to;
Jesus was ‘the man on the top’ but he lived his life down at the bottom
—) Imagine if Governors, Presidents, Prime Ministers and other world leaders spent a mere 2 hours a day with the people at the bottom (far less than the biblical Jesus)……such behavior would rock our world!
—) Imagine if President Obama sat at his desk for two hours every Monday-thru-Friday and gave fifteen minutes each to the first 8 people who lined up each morning……such behavior would rock our world!
—) Imagine if world leaders started spending more of their time living among the people at the bottom…rather than spending all of their time isolated from the rest of us……such behavior would rock our world!
Want me to tell you when we get to see world leaders hanging out with the people at the bottom; during election season. When there are camera’s around and a good photo-op occurs….that’s when you get to see the world leader allegedly ‘listening’ to the people at the bottom.
Do I sound like a loony revolutionary? I hope not….because I don’t feel like one. Perhaps I am simply too enamored with the story about this dude from 2000 years ago who spent his life hanging out with the poor, criticizing the rich and condemning hypocritical religious leaders…..
I really need another coffee,