You Are In Trouble

“The hottest place in hell will be reserved for those who said nothing during times of trouble.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I saw this quote at the end of a Rotary email I was reading yesterday afternoon. Then my wife and I went on a date last night and saw Harriet, a new movie about Harriet Tubman. The meaning of this quote echoed through my mind as I left the theater.

Harriet recognized she was living in a time of trouble in which slavery was alive and well and human life and freedom was not recognized as an equal right. Instead of enjoying freedom in Philadelphia once she escaped her own slavery in Maryland, she dedicated her life to helping others find freedom. She took action risking her life for the freedom of others.

The quote and the movie begs these questions:

Where do I see trouble happening around me? And what am I doing about it?

These aren’t questions to brush over.

Where do you see trouble happening around you? And what are you doing about it?

It’s easy to keep wearing our blinders – to keep our eyes and ears only on things in our “perfect” and “controlled” world. If we keep wearing our blindfolds and our earplugs, we can’t be accused of failing to act on what we didn’t see or hear.

It’s time to remove the blindfolds from our eyes and the earplugs from our ears. We are called to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.

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 (NIV)

Perhaps it’s climate change, and we need to be more like Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old Swedish teenager who is speaking up and taking action to bring attention to this trouble.

Perhaps it’s violence and life, and we need to be more like Shane Claiborne, the 44 year-old Philadelphia social activist who is taking action to end gun violence and to broaden the perspective on what it really means to be pro-life.

Perhaps it’s injustice being done to those in areas of conflict, and we need to be more like Bob Goff, the 60 year-old San Diego lawyer who is taking action around the world to help kids and women who are being impacted by conflict.

Imagine with me for a minute. Imagine how different the world would be if we began to really see and understand the trouble going on around us and if we began to take action to end the trouble we found.

I imagine a world where human life is valued – every human life from conception to the grave. I imagine a world where people take care of each other. I imagine a world where there is unity and collaboration. I imagine a world where people are more open to God because of how His people have shown them His love.

God, help us all to be alert to the trouble going on in our homes, in our communities, and in our world. And give us the clarity and the courage to take action.

Where do you see trouble happening around you? And what are you going to do about it?