Awake

Am I awake?

I thought I was, but the question seemed to shake me out of a daze and now that word is everywhere.

I think of conversations that where hazy and I missed what others said. Those moments I had to apologize because I hadn’t heard what was being said, or just filled in the gaps with what I thought was being said instead of doing the work of asking deeper questions and staying wide awake.

I want to be awake. I want to be present when I am with others. I do not want to miss this moment. I know they are limited.

Am I awake?

I thought I was, but each time a headline hits, it feels like the first time. I am jarred awake by the injustice toward another because of the color of their skin or their status in society and realized I allowed time to lull me to half asleep.

I read the books, I listened to people’s stories, I did some research, signed some petitions, prayed some prayers, but I am still back at the moment of not being sure why we are still in this space and what can be done to make a difference. Did I really think it would be fixed so quickly? Did I wish it were so, so I could go back to sleep?

Judgement is coming and it is going to surprise many when it falls. I am reminded of all the prophets of Old that warned against being unjust. The judgement will come. God sees and cares for all those created in His image. He hears the cries of their heart.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Am I awake?

Why am I still shocked at the photos of children in makeshift holding spaces (aka: cages) alone without moms and dads to protect them in this foreign land? Why is the problem still increasing? Why haven’t I gotten up to stand in the gap for the least of these? Why are so many sharing posts full of ignorance and hate? Why did I get lulled into no longer confronting the ignorance and standing up wide awake to this injustice.

I shake my fist and say how long oh Lord and my foggy soul hears him ask the same of me, how long?

Am I awake?

Injustice, so easy to stay in a stupor and see it at a distance, so easy to see it as something I really cannot do anything about, but is that true? I think of the early ragamuffin followers of The Way, the disciples of Jesus who had their world turned upside, woke up and turned the the world upside right for Christ.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

Am I awake?

Do I see the evil in my heart? Do I see the injustice that I harbor in my life? Am I quick to speak and slow to listen? Have I become quick to be angry and slow to act merciful in my sleepy state? Have I been quick to become impatient? to fill in the narrative with one that is convenient or easy? In my desire to go back to sleep am I quick to tell and believe an easy story instead of sitting in the tension of the moment? How can I lament when I choose to stay in that in between state?

“Wake up, O sleeper,

rise up from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk,

not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:14-16

Am I awake?

Oh world full of so much good and beautiful, set against the backdrop of so much injustice and evil. Being wide awake can overwhelm the senses. The delicate dance of living in the now and not yet, the joy and the grief are tricky and can trip even the one who is wide awake. To be bilingual in lament and hope feels forced at times and contradictory at other moments, but that is the language that is needed to live deeply, to stay awake to love, to be merciful, to right wrongs, to show compassion, to have righteous anger, to be wide awake to intercede and use my power and privilege on behalf of those who have had theirs robbed. To be wide awake makes the heart ache for all the grief, but also for all the beauty. Lord, have mercy.

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.

Psalm 25:4

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

Am I awake?

Show me oh Lord what it looks like to live wide awake. Some may accuse me of being woke, but may I never be accused of being asleep to your heartbeat for justice and mercy.

2 thoughts on “Awake

  1. Thank you for your kindness. I see the darkness in my heart and it grieves me, but I am thankful that God is washing it out and filling it with more of His light and love as I allow it.

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