I am not buying a Chick-fil-A sandwich today, for two reasons. First, I do not eat chicken. Second, I can think of at least a thousand better ways to live out my Christian faith than to demonstrate support or opposition for Chick-fil-A.
Today will be a sad day for me. My father was born on August 2, 1923, and his birthday stirs my grief. The day before my father died in December 2008, I sat by his bed at the hospice house and witnessed his agitation. I asked the hospice nurse why Daddy was still agitated with all the medications he was taking. The nurse told me that it could be part of my fathers life review.
My father was a good man, but I imagine all of us will look back just before death with some regrets. Mine will focus in part on hurts I caused other people, especially when I was on my judgmental high horse. Equally, my regrets will center on all the opportunities I missed to make the world a better place, because I was busy proving that I was right about everything.
This Aug. 1 will be a particularly sad day for me. I will see Christianity devolve into a debate over chicken sandwiches.
Would our time and energy not be better spent feeding the hungry rather than standing in line to get the right kind of sandwich? Maybe we could spend that time making sandwiches for people who have no food.
Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. He did mention chickens, specifically, a hen spreading her wings. Almost all of Matthew 23 recounts Jesus dressing down religious leaders for exalting themselves and upholding small rules, at the expense of leaving undone the most important things. Jesus told the religious leaders that they ignored the most important parts of the law: justice, mercy, and faith.
At the end of the chapter, Jesus grieved and spoke of a chicken. He said that he longed to gather his children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings.
Today, and every day, why not shift our focus to the work Jesus instructed us to do, to love and help each other rather than squander our energy on judgment and condemnation?
Why not step out of line and stand in silence, wherever you are, and look for the light and goodness in others?
Thomas Merton did. One day he simply stood on a corner in Louisville, Kentucky. In Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton describes that moment when separation from other people fell away, and he loved the strangers who walked within his sight.
He looked at total strangers and suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts the person that each one is in Gods eyes.
What did he see in the core of each person? At the center of our being is a point or spark which belongs entirely to God
At the end of our lives, what if we have to answer a couple of questions:
Did you see others as God sees them, with all their hearts beauty, and focus your energy on love and the possibility that if we gather amicably under the wings of the Lord, we can diminish the darkness and cruelty of life?
On August 1, 2012, did you or did you not buy a chicken sandwich?