Sarah yawned. As she looked at her calendar for the week, she shook her head. It was another week of the same stuff.
She got her coffee.
Her work wasn’t awful. Some days it was a delight. But most days it was work. She longed for it to be subversive.
Her friends weren’t awful. Most days they were a delight. But most days they were acquaintances. She longed for them to be accomplices.
Sunday morning, she’d heard a sermon that had been eating at her. The pastor was working slowly through the letter of James. Achingly slowly sometimes. One Sunday she wanted to stand up and say, “Wake up! James is attacking us! Living like this would be aMAzing!” Then she realized that she had been dozing.
But this week, a word gleamed as she scanned down the page. “Royal.” James – brother of Jesus, leader in Jerusalem, no friend of King Herod or Rome, no friend of status – used the word “royal.”
She sipped her coffee, trying to remember the sentence. Finally, she put down her journal and picked up a Bible. She found the sentence in James 2: “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.
She looked at what came just before this. James had been talking about favoring rich people and ignoring poor people. He accused people of pleasing the rich people who were suing them and ignoring the poor people who were being abused. And then he said that the royal law was to love your neighbor.
It seemed like the opposite of all the exploitative royalty she’d ever read about.
“But I want to be doing right,” she thought.
She had no idea that this was going to be a week that changed her life.
For the next few days, I’ll be running a story here that I wrote a few years ago. It’s a good story. And today is the first day back to school for one of the two online courses I teach and I need to focus a little on that.
And I’m afraid, a little, that if I was writing new posts right now, they would center around the rising number of cases we are seeing at the hospital right now. And I would sound cranky. So I’m going to sit with you and read these posts about loving one another. Not to avoid reality, but to think about loving. As I said to a friend, I can’t get so consumed with the big fears that I am mean to the ones close to me.
But please know that I think that there are some loving things we can do so that my coworkers don’t have to see you in our hospital and, in the worst cases, I don’t have to talk to your loved ones.