Jose Chicas, a native of El Salvador who has been living in church sanctuary for more than three years, [moved] out Friday (Jan. 22) after President Joe Biden signed an executive order temporarily halting the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Our country is aching to see the strength it takes to accept responsibility for more than our own individual acts. To be wrong, and admit it. To be the first to apologize. To accept the hard truth that we’ve sown bitterness and are reaping violence. Violence doesn’t start in our fists, it is born in our hearts.
We must still raise our voices to denounce Christian pursuit of power and boldly denounce cycles of violence perpetuated in the name of Jesus. We also seek that justice be given to those involved in last week’s events. Nevertheless, we can still own and apologize to a watching world the sins that our fellow siblings have committed.
Wickedness is white supremacy. Wickedness is supporting systems that discard women deemed “unworthy” by the rest of the world. I told her that my speck of dirt on a mustard seed of spirituality either had to believe we had a different higher power, or that hers was one I would never want to worship.
How often does revival have to walk out of church in order to survive? How many awakened souls will have to leave the institution before the pain of staying the same is perceived as greater than the pain of change? Is there some way to expedite the process?
Maybe with time things would have worked themselves out but I didn’t wait, I didn’t suffer through it. I bought the coffee and every morning I pressed the grounds down with my fears and filled an empty Wonder Woman mug with that hot drink.
Our reactions and feelings of loss toward having our weekly temple worship stripped away might reveal something of an idolatry within us. Have we become too dependent, too anchored, too confined to the temple walls and to the warm fuzzies we get from the familiarity with our siblings in the church?
I began with Charles and asked him, “As a Choctaw man who follows Jesus on the Red Road, are there parallels that you see between the politics of the White church today and the politics of the White church in the days of the Choctaw removal?”