My friend Dianne Schlichting often uses poetry as a means of both processing and expressing her experience. Here is a poem she shared this morning to express her anguish at what she has been seeing in the media and in our society these past months. With her permission, I gratefully offer it here for your reflection.
What kind of people
Are we becoming?
What is it about us
That we are drawn
To the crucifixions of others
Whose sins are sensationalized,
Magnified daily in our media, social outlets,
And in our conversations?
We have become mobs,
Our next meal, seeking the next
Delicious piece of red meat.
Why do we so enjoy,
Watching public humiliations,
Suffering, ridicule, and others’
Pain on display?
Why do we continue to shout,
“Give us Barabbas, and
Crucify, crucify the other!”
We have become consumers of
Other people’s painful journeys into transformation;
We forget that we are all sinners, that
We all fall short.
Pharisees, we attend our churches
Praying, “Thank you, God, that I am
Not like that sinner.”
We point fingers, judge, and
Become the other’s jury and executioners;
We act out of hate and vengeance—why?
Who has wronged us to such a degree that we feel the need to crucify?
We are disappointed and angry, but
Why do we point fingers outward?
Have we personally worked
At creating places of harmony,
Understanding, consensus, and
Do we try to be compassionate human beings,
Or do we allow our feelings to erect walls of separation?
Crowds followed Jesus to His death
Jeering, screaming for blood.
Have we learned nothing in all these years—
We who call ourselves Christians—
Have we not understood His message
Of forgiveness, hope, and love?
Do we not know who we are or
Who we are called to be?
The ultimate question we need to answer:
Are we people who crucify or
Are we people who sit together at Eucharist?
That is the choice before us today.