This December has been
unreasonably unseasonably warm. I was sitting on the porch discussing my grandfather, the life he led, the ways we will miss him, with my sister when dusk came. I was surprised it was getting so dark so fast. The weather tells me it is early September. The sunset has other plans. I went inside a little disoriented and looked at the clock on the microwave. Surely I missed bed time…nope, just that time of year. Simply not enough light in the day.
When the term “modern-day prophet” crept into my thoughts so did the sounds of the street-preachers I have become familiar with. First there was the guy my dad was friends with. Brother Richard used to pray for healing over the phone if he called the house and we answered, sick from school. I don’t remember meeting him, but I do remember his voice, soft and rich in my ear. My dad used to say you could see the remnants of the glory of the Lord on his head.
The street-preacher I have the strongest memories of is Pastor Neal. He used to stand outside the theatre department and hurl fire and brimstone at the homosexuals and the fornicators just trying to buy a ticket to the university’s next show. I went to his church once, “The Revolution,” where he preached a beautiful sermon filled with the grace and love of our God. I wonder now, why he saved that message for those who already had it, and hurled the condemnation at those who had yet to experience the grace.
I have become increasingly convinced of the prophetic act of spending. Money talks. What is the church saying? Are we saying the poor matter? Are we proclaiming that injustice will be redeemed? Are we shouting, DRINK! all who are thirsty? Are we affirming the dignity and humanity of every soul born into the flesh? God cares desperately about you? Or are we saying, this gospel is for me and those like me, God cares desperately for my comfort?
There are so many in my circle who are proclaiming good things through the cause they back. My husband walked 6 miles with 5 gallons of water for Charity water. My dear friend Brooke is running a marathon for She’s the First and raising 26 girls worth of education in the 26 miles she runs. My favorite bloggers are building a school in Haiti. I got accepted on the blogging team of The Exodus Road, an organization that fights for the lives of those who have been trafficked, combats modern-day slavery. I am humbled, but overwhelmed by the opportunity to raise money for their cause. It seems everyone has a cause they want you to contribute to. It is hard sometimes to feel like it matters.
The darkness creeps up so quickly these days. It is enough to disorient me, the darkness of this world. But the Prophet’s job is to shout into the darkness, light a candle in the abyss of the night, promise that dawn is coming, and point to the light that is already breaking in. It is hard and lonely in this wilderness, and sometimes I need to be reminded that what I proclaim matters.
Confession: I haven’t bothered to register my credit cards with Pure Charity. The aforementioned bloggers for a Haitian school asked me to, and I keep forgetting or am just too tired. The idea is simple and brilliant. Many businesses that I already shop at will give a percentage of the money I was going to spend anyway to my giving account, and then I decide where that money is going to go. Free money to that project, or the Exodus Road project to fund raids on brothels where they are holding girls against their will. Seems like a no brainer, and yet I still don’t have an account. I think I have been giving into the darkness, believing that it doesn’t really matter.
If I pray every Sunday “on earth as it is in heaven” if I believe that God has more for this world than what we’ve already got, then I am a prophet of hope. As the advent season continues and I lean into the waiting, I don’t want to wait silently in the dark. I want to point to the dawn, the promise of light to come.