I recently had my regular eye exam. There is always that part where the technician has me looking into a machine while two different lenses are switched back and forth. “Which is better? Slide one or slide two?” This continues until both choices are so good I can’t tell the difference. When this starts out, however, I have to speak up and say that neither choice is very good. One might be better than the other, but it is a long way from being good.

I feel like we are in a place now where the vision exam is still early. We have a vision of what we want our world, our nation, and our church to look like. We are looking at choices, but most of them are still not very good. One might seem better than the others but none of them seem to fulfill the vision of a good society.

If it was just a matter of a technician flipping a switch and giving us a new lens, our choices would be relatively harmless until we get to the place of greatest acuity. But we are talking about our lives together. We cannot continue as we are when we know that lives are being lost on our streets and even in homes. Poor choices may not be recognized until there is enough violence to prick our collective conscience, and past experience indicates it takes a lot of violence to do that. We need to make choices that produce true goodness now.

Difficult conversations are needed. Truly, they are long overdue. Possible changes to our systemic racism need to be discussed honestly and openly. Gun violence needs to be addressed. Abuse of power by those who have been given authority needs to be addressed. We can recognize the needs. It is the path to where we want to be that is so difficult to discern. It is a journey we must take.

I hope our eyes have been opened by now so we can make the better choices until we finally arrive at GOOD!

Pastor Phil