Sunday, August 22, 2010

Needle Stick

Last week, I got "tested" for TB.

Apparently this is a common test for anyone who plans to work in an institution (like a hospital - but that's *so* last year) or in home with the elderly (aha! that would be me).

This involves a simple (ouch!) needle stick wherein the kind County-Health RN injects a serum under the skin. Three days later, the same RN looks at the now-bruised hole in my arm and since there was no "reaction," this shows that I am immune. She stamped my "card" and that's what I presented to my future employer so that I could get "in home aide" training.

I wondered how this relates to my faith journey. It reminded me how V. Gene Robinson wrote in In The Eye Of The Storm. He complains about how Christianity has become so bland...

Instead of going to church to be energized for mission, ministry and justice, all too often we go for an "inoculation" instead...{like} You don't want to get chicken pox, so you go to the doctor, who gives you just enough chicken pox to make your body form antibodies to it. So you never get a full blown case of chicken pox.

Could it be that we actually go to church for such an inoculation?
God help us if we go to church on Sunday morning just to get enough religion to keep us from having a full-blown case. If we took to heart what we read in scripture and hear in church, we would set about changing our own lives and seeking to transform the world. A "full-blown case" of Christianity would result in befriending the oppressed, working for justice and offering ourselves sacrificially in God's plan for the salvation of the world ...

I am pretty sure that I've got a full-blown case of Christianity. I'm officially a church geek.

I got another needle stick when I heard how the "brand image" of Christianity has become so tarnished that followers are dis-owning it with toxic anger. I feel much of that anger, distrust, resentment, like my neighbor Anne Rice.

I still believe the world is being transformed by a God of creation - the one "in whom we live and move and have our being" - the God who is present in every moment and who, as a human, taught us to live a way of life and is a very bridge between humanity and the divine. I pray for the grace of our Creator God, the love of the Incarnate Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit may sustain all who have a full-blown case.

What form does your needle stick take?

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