It’s a rhetorical question.
But not really.
It has been a week. From hell.
A bit of background for those who don’t know me (that could be most of you–I’m not famous). I’m a theological Catholic more comfortable among my Protestant cohort at work and in volunteer activities. I’ve been that way for a few years now. It’s time to admit that.
I work with some of the best people I’ve ever known, committed to Christ in a way few workplaces could ever evidence (and my guess is, few actually do, despite what their mission statements may claim). I wish I could serve them better than I am right now, during palpable chaos in a major area of our work, refugee and immigration services. We integrate word and deed unlike any other method does or theology teaches, and I’m immensely proud to even sweep the floors for these people. I also serve with a fine faith-based organization that works hard everyday to eradicate HIV, other health disparities and associated stigma that afflict Baltimore, the city I love, with amazing stories of life change.
Believe me, friends at these organizations, who are largely protestant and more specifically evangelical, have weathered their own storms, and still do. The funding is tighter, and who the heck knows what “evangelical” even means anymore outside of the most pejorative dressing it has worn these past few years.
As always, my family, atheist to mainline, probably wonder why I can’t pick a winning team.
And they aren’t wrong to wonder it. I have never witnessed poorer Witness to Christ than I have in these past two years.
Catholic leadership abdicates responsibility for its youth and in turn the future of the Church, the one Catholics claim Peter himself founded at the behest of Jesus. How dare they.
Evangelical leadership has in no small part adopted a civil religion that excludes people from its reach and tramples Scripture mandating that we welcome the stranger. How dare they.
So, I find myself wondering: What to do? Where to go? For a Catholic, there are rules that haunt–skipping Mass, for instance. The fury inside of me says “I don’t give a #!*!.” And the Catholic inside of me says, “Be angry the other 23 hours on Sunday.” As silly and legalistic as that seems to my evangelical friends, it does haunt.
I’ve spent a large part of the last week absolutely in my zone–the Anger Zone. I’m quite good in that zone. I can research and write and attack and demand. But it is not sustainable. And, unchecked, it is not holy. So this weekend I rest. I hope.
A wise person once told me that you have to give people answers–don’t end a sermon or a soapbox moment without an action item. Sorry, my friend. I have no choice. I have no answer. Not today, at least.
I’m in Boston this weekend. What will Sunday bring for me?
I don’t know.
There is no “stay strong” at the end of this blog. There is no action item. I simply mourn and sit in the presence of the One who mourns more than I ever could over the state of his Catholic and Evangelical people.