A man preaches from a street corner on Frazier Avenue in downtown Chattanooga, yet the public continues their business. He is loud and his words at first sound condemning. My wife and I ate our ice cream from Clumpie’s as we walked past him.
The next day I drive down Shallowford Road and there he is again, standing in the middle of a roundabout, this time holding a megaphone.
I drive around the roundabout and my neck is too stiff to turn to the left and listen. I’m focused on getting around the circle, by looking to the right, to keep from getting hit by another car speeding to get on the circle. No driver yields or stops.
As I drive, all I hear is the noise the street preacher makes, not the message he speaks. Once I leave the circle it’s too late to get back on. Impatience is the new normal for most drivers. Everyone is more concerned with where they are going or getting away from a life full of challenges and problems.
More so than ever before, most people have acknowledged in 2021, that there’s a lot of problems in our world that keep getting darker. Racism, shootings, viruses, and disposing of folks who have a different viewpoint than the masses, to name a few.
What Yancey wrote in his twenties in 1977 still applies today. “That, I believe, is the megaphone value of suffering. This planet emits a constant “groaning,” a cry for redemption and restoration, but very often we ignore the message until suffering or death forces us to attend.” (Where is God when it hurts?)
Another man stands on a street and proclaims a message. His name is Jeremiah. Listen to what God told the prophet to do.
“Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord…” (17:19-20a, NKJV)
There’s a reason God wanted to get the attention of the people He loved: their disobedience. God explains to Jeremiah, “But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.” (17: 23, NKJV)
Why do we think we can still pull the wool over God’s eyes? Jeremiah 16:17 reads, “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.” (NKJV) Have we bought the lie that our apathy fits us better than God’s holiness.
Yes, God requires holiness from you and me, but not a “holier than thou” attitude. The whole point of holiness is that our lives shine a different kind of light on the world’s darkness.
A ray of hope for the hopeless. A beam of light for those enslaved to the darkest of nights. A soul that glows in the dark. A flare of truth that defeats the dark lies from the pit of hell.
The light of reconciliation is needed now more than ever before for the dark, growing problem of racism. There are only two choices: Revenge or Reconciliation. The world has sadly shown that their answer of revenge does not solve the problem of racism, it worsens it.
Light, God’s light, is needed like never before. Our world does not need more loud rhetoric blasted from a megaphone, but lives that silently speak of a different way of life found only in Jesus. How will you shine your light?
Watch music video below to see & hear how artists Leigh Nash and Ruby Amanfu shine their light on racism.
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