Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bearing Witness

Bearing witness…it doesn’t seem like much and indeed it is not enough, but it’s where we begin.  It’s where the journey of bringing God’s dream of justice to the world begins.  When tragedy strikes we should resist the urge to turn our heads and look the other way, instead we should stay and bear witness to the pain, to the loss, to the suffering.  For it is only after we bear witness to such things that we are motivated to act. 

On Saturday, May 12, the brothers at SSJE hosted a vigil to remember LGBTQ youth who committed suicide and Bishop Tom Shaw gave a thoughtful sermon.  The ceremony was so beautiful and so sad.  As I knelt down to light a few candles and saw the pictures of youth who had taken their lives scattered on the floor I was shaken.  Such loss, such unnecessary loss!  Our support had arrived too late, bearing witness was the least we could do. 

And so now I invite you to join us in bearing witness to the immeasurable value of the lives lost and the fact that their deaths were totally preventable.  The God of love and compassion who sees all is inviting all of us to participate in the divine work of bearing witness to injustice wherever it appears and taking action.  Will you accept the invitation?  Will you bear witness? 

Let us not look away when our young people take their own lives.  Let us not look away when over 1000 sweat shop workers in Bangladesh die in a building collapse so we can continue to buy our trendy clothes at discounted rates.  Let us not look away when the lives of the poor all over the world are trampled upon so that the wealthiest among us can become even wealthier.  Let us bear witness to every tear, every act of violence, every life needlessly lost, every cry of injustice. And for the sake of God’s love and for the world, let us act.

Following the Way,
Kevin Vetiac