Mountain Tops and the Fall of Empires

January 15, 2015

Mountain Tops and the fall of Empires

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

 

I have been to the mountaintop speech
by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.



On this day, we Americans have decided as a nation to remember the life, thought and works of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The scoffers, the hard-hearted, the ignorant and the ungrateful will ignore the will of the people in this regard as they ignore all other things. “King who?” and “King, whatever,” they will say quietly to themselves lest someone recognize them for the racist, misanthropist or fool that they are.

King may be remembered most for his “I have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Or, perhaps, the Civil Rights March that he led in Alabama – a march which called out and revealed the evil spirit working through the rule of law, leaders and law enforcement officers. There’s also his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in which he explains that non-violent, civil disobedience is just, holy and necessary under certain circumstances of oppression and injustice.

King reminds me that the Christian faith continues to have an urgent and powerful role in the American public square. It cast out the demons in the machinery of democracy and from the hearts of once prejudiced Americans. It brought healing to long sufferings. Of course, it did not cast out all demons nor heal every heart – for where there is stubbornness, pride and rebellion, God allows the person (or people) to pursue their self-determined course to hell.

As I contemplate the present Protestant hope for Revival, I wonder if the hour is too late, if our hearts are too cold, if our minds too cynical and if our evil ways too entrenched – wrong has become right and, likewise, right has become wrong. Unlike the past, our greatest challenge is not our ignorance. As a nation, we have chosen fear, curses and death – not love, blessings and life. These are interesting times. And dangerous.

What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
15 January 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

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Broken hearts and getting away with murder #TamirRice #DCprotest #pray

December 7, 2014

Broken hearts and getting away with murder

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

It has been said that when evil, immorality and self-serving license prevails in the world, the human heart will grow cold. That our compassion, empathy and desire to be a comfort and help to others shall be greatly diminished. I wonder if these are those times.

I wonder now if my own heart has grown cold.

Because I watched surveillance video footage that provided a view of the murder of a 12 year old child and I did not weep.

I understood it was a true horror that I was watching. I felt deep sympathy for Tamir Rice’s parents, but what I felt did not go deep enough. An awkward sound escaped my mouth but I should have sobbed. And I knew the fault must be mine. That my heart was growing cold.

Has my heart been so broken that it is beyond repair. Yes and no. Comfort and convenience will not heal this heart. Technology cannot fix it. Nor chemical prescription – legal or illegal. Nor government.

The hows and whys of the murder of Tamir Rice will be argued with heartless contention, legalistic pageantry and much anger. But I will not put the murder of a child behind me. I will not move forward in my thoughts. There is enough evil in the murder of a child to claim my hearts’ complete attention. Racism and prejudice is also evil and, yet, I cannot move past the greater evil to feast and rail upon the lesser evil. There is time to account for all of our evil.

There is enough evidence in the paltry, unadorned facts that a child was murdered for you and I to understand that the world is broken and that we, collectively as the human family, are exceedingly worthy of a curse upon our heads- a curse that follows each one of us wherever we go and whatever we do, and confounds us with unrelenting hardships, misery and unbearable misfortune.

Some say that this is what is happening now. Others even suggest that those who do murder or other evil, they share their curse with us all. And those who get away with murder, they break the human heart (all hearts) in ways that shall never be healed – even until the last star blinks out. Yet we also know, deep down, that the answer is not to tear them to little pieces.

I feel the curses piling up upon me, my body, mind and soul. Upon my family, friends and neighbor. Upon my nation and all of the human family. I feel the poverty of my spirit growing wide and deep as oceans. For what should I be proud?

If only I could have wept, I could almost imagine that I could step out from underneath this particular curse – one among the millions. And so I put my face on the ground and I repent for us all.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and [God’s] word is not in us.

1 John 1:10

And I beg God to have for mercy on us and on the whole world.

Stan Faryna
06 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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