In that conversation the kingdom of God felt further away than ever.
It didn’t feel here, in the present, but somewhere in the distance – a mere dot on the horizon we will never be joined with.
When we speak, we speak not only for ourselves but others, too. And in her voice I heard the voices of a multitude, one as much as alive in Jesus’ lifetime as it is now. Like a game of tug-of-war happening across space and time. Because ignorance and hate don’t have boundaries: they are the same everywhere.
The exact shape may change but the meaning is the same. They can be dressed up and hidden behind jargon that sounds caring or looks good on paper but poison served in fancy cake is still poison.
She said why should any of it matter, we’re all humans. As though our shared humanity somehow wipes out everything else. Like cultures and societies and all the systems in them don’t exist; as if we weren’t individuals tangled up in all of this, trying to protect that very same humanity from the divisions that threaten to destroy it.
Knowledge puffs up, writes Paul, love builds up.
But how do you keep an open heart? How do you look at the future with hope?
I could have hung up. Could have put down the phone and walked away, from it and her, for good.
The conversation was going in circles and so felt pointless. And yet the fact that we were having this conversation at all means something.
Sometimes the larger picture obscures the details and the events of our everyday lives pass by in seemingly meaningless ways. Could this moment, then, be used for something good? If words can transcend space and time then maybe this small thing, here in the present, will help something larger to grow in the future?
The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, He said, the smallest of all the earth’s seeds.
What happens now may seem insignificant and yet I can’t help but feel life is progressing towards something. Like human history was always intended for this. All of these moments, all of us, will one day yield a crop of something good and nutritious. And only then will we realize how starved we once were.