When We All Speak a Foreign Language
Because I’m grateful to be able to see a contrast between the Kingdom of David and the Kingdom of Pharaoh, I suggest to you that today is a day we bend our necks up toward Pharaoh’s podium and see it for what it is. The roiling swell of pride, the sound of cheers and the culmination of fear and skins covered in sick chills, it all makes me consider how today’s confusion and division is much like the confusion at Babble’s tower, that reach for power. There was a moment then when we could no longer understand one another. The different languages, tongues in parted rhythms, what a touch even means, a lifted eyebrow, the ability to see skin and then beyond, what a chasm was made between us.
Tell me what you want? What’s your desire? When you say Leader, do you mean Safety? Do you mean you want to belong? That’s what I mean when I say Home. Hear my heart. I want to hear yours.
Between the rainbow-colored balloons at the beautiful Women’s March and the pro-life picket signs outside Planned Parenthood, there is no safe place for me. There is no home or church pew, no education, no haven, strong tower, association, that is safe. Your language does not feel safe to me. Mine will cut you. There is only the terrible cleft in the hidden rock. That is where the God Who Hears and the Spirit who Interprets will meet us. Only the broken know where it is, the place of Those Who Cry for Help. The lost ones get to speak and understand the crystal clear language of beggary (the groans) to the Power Beyond Pharaoh, more terrifying and magnified than all we fear combined. Only the lost ones will find that Refuge. Read and understand that by lost I mean needy, exiled, un-abled, those of us with a pre-existing condition, the ones who need a doctor and have none who will accept the call – unless we meet at the rock.
Where is the bridge between me and you, East and West, rich and poor, between the Spirit of God and the cry of a woman? Where is the bridge between Sarah and Hagar? Between city and farm?Between government and the people? Black and white? Where is Jacob’s ladder?
There is only one way to be heard, only one picket that reaches to the heavens.
Jesus, interpreter, coverer, bringer, meeter in low-down places, God who met me in the floor, crusher of transactional love, you gave Nathanial a vision. He saw angels descending and ascending on the Son of Man. You are the Ladder. You are the Bridge.
Today I see the tower. I give unto Ceasar what is his. But I pray I never bow there or say that his kingdom is yours. I go to the Bridge, and I lay down my words and my affiliations and my deep groans. I beg for the gift to interpret tongues today.
I pray we won’t be afraid of, or find strength in, the wrong things today.