Dear Santa, Thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It’s Easter now, so I hope I didn’t wake you. But honest, it is an emergency. There’s a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it’s just an ordinary crack but I know it’s not. Because at night there’s voices. So please, please could you send someone to fix it. Or a policeman… or… hears the TARDIS crashing in the backyard. Back in a moment. Looks out the window. Thank you Santa. Amelia Pond
I am a big Doctor Who fan. The Doctor is a time traveler who picks up companions for the journey with him through time and space to save the universe with his brains and a screwdriver. During the era of Matt Smith as the Doctor, one of the themes running through the show was a crack in the wall. This crack would appear randomly, consistently. This crack as the Doctor said would appear even if you knocked the wall down for the crack was everywhere and everything. The crack was a split in the side of the world. The Doctor’s purpose is to solve the mystery of the crack and fix the problem. He is one of the people in the universe who sets out each time we see him to fix the crack, to repair the breach, to mend the break, to restore the streets.
When I listen to the new unfold there is breach in our world, a brokenness where we could use someone, anyone to become the doctor. As we see the breach Orlando, Florida, where a gunman shot and killed 49, with 53 more injured, at a gay nightclub, before he was killed, because he had lost his love. When we hear and watch this news we are sad, angry, despairing, numb. There is one tragedy after another. In the 72 hours surrounding the Orlando shooting there were 250 other acts of gun violence in the United States. At those moments, we cry out, we call for someone to step up. This past weekend at the Illinois Conference Annual Celebration, Rev. Traci Blackmon, used the following scripture to help us focus on what and who we are called to be in these moments.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in arched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. Isaiah 58:9-12
The people of Israel are facing a time when there is hate speech, finger pointing, oppression, hunger, and poverty. They call out to God for help. And as Traci Blackmon says, God responds back: You fix is yourself, you have the power within you to fix this. You can be a repairer of the breach, you can restore the streets. We can repair the breach with a word of love, in world full of hate; we can speak up, stand up, act out when we see the breach and act to repair the crack rather than move on by with our lives. We can show and give grace, mercy, forgiveness. We can share laughter, asked the well-placed question, and just listen. It is our turn to see these cracks, these breaches, these tears in the walls of time and space and act to repair and restore our breaches.
When we look around at the breaches here in Illinois due to the budget impasse: domestic violence and rape crisis centers at-risk for closing, mental health services have been cut or closed, seniors are facing the loss of meals on wheels and other services, colleges are laying off staff, schools may not be able to open in the fall, some life-saving cancer screenings have stopped, this is just a small glimpse of the breach. Isaiah says we are to be repairer’s and restorer’s - take to social media to demand change, contact your elected officials to demand action, work to replace incumbents, join protests, invite those around you to speak out and act. We can restore the streets here in Illinois. To take action you can send an email at the Community Renewal Society with this link budget. This will provide you the contact information so that you can call or write the governor, your state representative and senator.
Don't wait for the Doctor to save you. Become one of the repairers of the breach. “We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” Lin-Manuel Miranda