This week at Agapai we started our Lent study using Paula Gooder’s material based on the gritty TV series Broken. Prior to our meal we had all agreed to watch episode 1, entitled Christine,which like others in the series, is hard hitting and full of moral dilemmas.
We shared how the episode made us feel … there were a variety of emotions expressed, my own personal one being anger. Anger that those who are vulnerable and in need of support are deprived of it. Others, again, felt great sadness as we tried to get our heads around the subject finding it difficult to understand how being desperate someone becomes when they find themselves with the choices that Christine faced on a daily basis.
I love discussing stuff but anyone that knows me understands that somewhere along the way, somewhere in any conversation or in any teaching, I will eventually get to a point of asking:
‘What is our response as people, as Christians?’
‘What are we called to do?’
‘What can we do?’
In desperate situations of poverty it is hard to know how to support or help and we talked around this for quite a while. There are no easy or quick fix answers and that makes answering the question the much harder.
After the meeting one of the group found and pointed us to this link. In this Kerry Hudson writes of her return to the towns where she grew up. Some of her comments hot hard and may point to some of the answers as to how we can respond. They all involve getting involved. Getting hands dirty. Being vulnerable. making a difference.
Today, the Richard Rohr thought for the day really resonated with me as I was pondering the Agapai discussion again.
Today Rohr quotes Beatrice Bruteau
we bear some responsibility. We have to take our part in the work. We, for instance, are now in a position to do something about all the suffering. . . . We are agents within the system and can have causal effects on other parts of the system. We have intelligence, we have empathy and capacity to feel for others and to care about them, we even have insight into the Ground present in every being and calling for an appropriate form of absolute respect.
What will we do? . . . What does “God want us to” do? Not a good way of putting the question, because it distances God from the world, but the answer I propose is Be! Be creative, be interactive, be agape, give being, unite, be whole, be in every possible way, be new. The self-creating world is unpredictable. It’s like a musician’s improvisation. . . . But the artwork will always resemble the artist. So the cosmos will somehow be like the Trinity, the vast Person-Community that is Agape, inter-being. . . .
The answer of ‘Be’
That is real
That is intentional
That is us.