What do you do when you feel very frustrated with the plethora of misinformation that has flooded our world? I have tried to turn a blind eye to the ridiculous, harmful, and devastating stream of lies, innuendo, and manipulation that is coming from institutions and media outlets that were designed to protect and serve the people. Truth is hard to find. “Both sides” are guilty of pushing agendas that serve only themselves. I don’t know about you, but I have had enough. Staying off social media and not turning on the news helps a little, but it is not enough.
Case in point: a friend who is a local school teacher recently attended a school board meeting that was called to decide about student mask-wearing in the public schools. The debate went back and forth quite loudly and in the end, it was decided that it would be the “parents’ choice.” On the way out, my friend, who chose to wear a mask to this meeting, was likened to being a Nazi by a parent…for exercising his personal right to chose…which is what the parents were demanding.
Where is the truth? Where is humility? Where is respect?
Where is wisdom?
Our lectionary this week addresses the subject of wisdom. As we pursue this topic, we are treated to a short passage from Proverbs on the subject. It is a somewhat fanciful account of “Lady Wisdom” inviting those who are struggling with “impoverished confusion” to come into her home for a special banquet meal:
Proverbs 9 (The Message)
1-6 Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home;
it’s supported by seven hewn timbers.
The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.
Having dismissed her serving maids,
Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning.”
I have to say that this brought me up short today. I want nothing to do with the “impoverished confused” at this point. But that is wrong, and not the way God calls us to deal with people. When people are impoverished, they need to be fed the Bread of Life. When people are confused, they need to be taught the Word. This is our job as followers of Jesus.
Scripture always points to the loving inclusion of the Kingdom of God. Lady Wisdom was wise enough to realize that the way to combat those who lack knowledge is to welcome them in, serve them the finest things, and invite them to walk out to a life with meaning….in other words, be patient. Be kind. Be less judgmental and more open to conversation.
This is a hard lesson today. May God grant us grace in our frustrations, wisdom in how to deal with things, and may he bring the Truth to bear down on all of us equally.
Help us, Lord.