It’s a Mell of a Hess We’re in!

“It’s a mell of a hess we’re in!” said the preacher trying not to cuss. This “woke” society and world can be one of the unintended consequences to come out of the tragedies of injustice that we have witnessed, but when should the protesting stop? How long does it take? This is too simplistic, but it strikes me that the Golden Rule is a good first-stage answer: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Then comes the second-stage answer: “Treat others BETTER than you want to be treated.”

Scott Peck, psychiatrist and author, said that there are four stages to community: 1. Pseudo-community is the stage where everyone is being nice, congenial, and having a honeymoon of sorts. 2. Chaos is when the honeymoon is over, and we find out about those annoying large or little quirks someone has, and we dare voice it. We protest! 3. Emptiness is the stage when we actually lay aside our “rightness,” and try to see everything from another’s perspective. 4. Real Community is when we have worked through the sham of Pseudo-community, borne the brunt of Chaos, and embraced Emptiness like a cried-out child in a mother’s arms.

My problem, and maybe yours, is that sometimes I get stuck in Pseudo-community, “Let’s play nice, y’all!” We fake concern and care until BOOM, we could care less, plus it, whatever “it” is, makes us mad as a hornet. But, if we stick with the process and don’t get stuck in any stage along the way, we just might make it to real community where we can live and let live with respect and value for one another. It doesn’t have to be my way or the highway. It can be our way and what’s best for everybody.

What stage are we in as a society right now? What stage should we be? Is it time to move on in the news cycle? I think not. Sure, I do not want to stay in chaos, but unless we let it work itself out, it will sooner or later rear its head again in an explosive way. So how do we deal with conflict and chaos? How do we make it to emptiness? I hesitate to even say that at all, because you can’t uncork 400 years of pent-up frustration in a few weeks’ time. It’s too early yet.

That being said, there are some of you, me included, that feel like we just can’t say anything without losing a friend. We’re damned if we do, and we’re damned if we don’t, so we start repressing our feelings and guess what’s going to happen down the road? Another explosion. Can’t the church and Christian community be a place where we can tell our truth, our story, in love, and nobody judges us immediately. I did something last week that I’ve never done since being on Facebook. I took down a post. My words may not have been polished, politically correct, or even helpful, but, whether you believe it or not, I meant well, but I was silenced or, rather, I chose silence over the drama of vitriol.

I don’t like being shushed. Can’t we see that’s the problem for everybody right now, and here’s what I think we’re missing. Our main enemy isn’t a politician (I wish it were that simple!), not a bunch of agitators, rednecks, or certainly not whole races of people, and not even Russia, and China. Our main adversary is not COVID-19, although I think it has amplified this perfect storm of angst that has caused our country to reel. Our primary adversary is evil! Remember Jesus’ words in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Lay the blame on the devilishness that’s in all of us.

Jesus shows his rescue plan to free us all. It’s emptiness! He gives us its essence in John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Laying down our lives is maybe the only way we can get past the chaos of our world. Jesus gave us that as an example when he laid down his life for us. Community can’t happen until we do the same.

So, let’s let the chaos bring a healing catharsis to the pain that is present. Let’s be careful to speak truth in a way that hits the nail on the head, but doesn’t split the wood in the process. After all, every person you see is somebody for whom Jesus died. The question is whether or not we would do the same and lay down our lives for them.

14 thoughts on “It’s a Mell of a Hess We’re in!

  1. I agree, I don’t like being shushed either! I am trying to be
    silent over things I am not sure about so as not to make any more problems! But I do not mind “speaking the truth in love” when I do have knowledge. Unfortunately too often when people disagree they don’t hear the “truth in love” part! I definitely think this lockdown and lack of human contact and touch has made a bad situation worse.

  2. Well said preacher… My DS sent a heart felt letter to the district about a need he felt to “do something”. He want our thoughts so I wrote him back that I am doing something. Not marching, not tearing up stuff, not carrying signs with cliché on them…with my 68 years I have seen a bunch of all that stuff with little change. So, I live my life in Christ, I do my best to live my witness, I do my best to speak peace, I do my best to remember God judged me quilts and then came Christ and the cross and God’s mercy.That is the best I have other than the gift of prayer. I know peace will come and God will bring it. We can’t do it alone we must depend on God.

    1. Amen! Sometimes you can have every best intention, and the best thing to do is be an ally is to superglue our mouths and open our ears! t

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  3. I believe there are two things that we must hold as tightly too as ever before—— the Bible and the Constitution. The separation of church and state is imperative. The water’s get very murky when we do not adhere to this important distinction. We need the church to teach and remind us of the gospel, grow our faith, and comfort us regardless of political affiliation. When the church and state gets intertwined, this will certainly alienate people whom may need the church maybe during the lowest point in their lives. Politics should not make people feel uncomfortable going to church. Jesus is my Savior and I do not think Jesus is red or blue.

    1. Well said Bryan
      “As I see it, only God can be all-powerful without danger, because his wisdom and justice are always equal to his power. Thus there is no authority on earth so inherently worthy of respect, or invested with a right so sacred, that I would want to let it act without oversight or rule without impediment (p. 290).”
      ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. “As I see it, only God can be all-powerful without danger, because his wisdom and justice are always equal to his power. Thus there is no authority on earth so inherently worthy of respect, or invested with a right so sacred, that I would want to let it act without oversight or rule without impediment (p. 290).”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Well said, Tim! I appreciate your guidance through these troubled waters. Perhaps we all need to dust off our WWJD bracelets and wear them and touch them when we need a reminder on the path He would have us follow… that is the only answer, WWJD!

  6. I was afraid that was going to happen when I read the piece. I am so sorry for all of us. I don’t always agree with what you say, but I always appreciate your thought process and respect your conviction to share it. Lead on, sir. There is only one truth, and that has yet to be fully revealed.

  7. I posted your “Potter’s View” on my Facebook page today, 06/14/20. Ya! It is a “Hell of a Mess That We are in!” You speak about giving ones life for loved ones be it people or sheep. I think about the 50-years in the fire fighting services where I have proudly been. Many close calls with likely death. God has protected me a person who does not deserve His protection. I think of many Fire Fighters who have become “Line Of Duty Deaths” from injuries and from cancers. Think about the numbers of law enforcement personnel that have been killed or injured while in the performance of their jobs. Think about all people in the EMS and medical world that have contracted COVID-19 and some have died. All of the aforementioned have laid down their lives, actually or likely, not for loved ones but, they do this for strangers of all colors and orientations with no hesitations. Lord heal our country, please.

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