Out of touch with the world, in touch with God
By Jackie Morfesis
In this season of political change and upheaval, many in our cities and across our nation are reevaluating and ruminating on their allegiance — even their identity. We struggle to absorb what seems like nonstop contention, argument, discord and division. We speak about broad and important issues like unity, community and reconciliation. All of this is vital and important. And I am by no means underscoring any efforts, initiatives or movements to right wrongs, to bring light into the darkness.
Yet I must honestly confess that though I may participate in discussion, advocate for causes and persons, and vote my conscience, I will not ever identify as anything so completely and profoundly as child of God. Yes, a child of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). And I will never claim any occupation as passionately as Kingdom ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20).
In a time when we kneel for a cause, march, rally, even riot, and serve, even worship, our leaders, I will kneel only for the Lord and serve only my God. This may sound somewhat out of touch with the world and with the ways of the world. And the truth is, I have always been out of touch with the world and its ways (John 17:16).
In many ways, I am a constant thorn in the side of those who know me because I am simply an enigma, defying labels. I am an advocate, a passionate crusader for mercy, and I will not condone or turn a blind eye to anyone’s suffering, even if they are seen as the justifiable collateral damage of a righteous cause. I will as quickly be at the side of the one who committed harm as I will be at the side of the one who has been victimized. I have visited, prayed with and comforted those who have committed the most heinous of crimes and those who have suffered at the hands of others (Matthew 25:35).
How is this possible? How is it possible to not take a stand? Not to draw a line in the sand? Do I have no backbone? Where is my outrage? My righteous indignation? My hatred against evildoers?
Don’t be fooled. I have drawn a line in the sand. And I do take a stand — for my Lord and Savior and no one else. I refuse to worship anyone on this earth, not in the political arena nor in the world of sports or entertainment. I may adore someone’s life and work, but I will never put my faith in humankind. Simply, humankind is broken, and even the most noble and honorable among us disappoint and tragically fail, betray others who put their trust and faith in them.
I serve one God. One Lord. One Master. One King. I will abide by the law of the land and live by the law of God. The great challenge and tragedy is that as Christians, we are slowly, day by day, season by season, forgetting our true identity and moral compass. Instead we identify with everything that is worldly, conforming our lives to what is communally acceptable but not acceptable in God’s eyes. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Perhaps I am so grounded in my faith walk because of my life experiences. I have suffered material loss and trauma (home arson while we were sleeping), physical pain and suffering, and deep emotional grief at the passing of my parents, especially after caring for my mother with brain cancer. And yet, the tremendous loss in my life cannot compare to the immeasurable love, mercy and blessings I have received from the Lord even in the darkest tunnels.
I know my name. I know my identity. No cause, no crisis, no political divide, no catastrophe, not even a global pandemic can shake the foundation that holds me — simply because I never identified with it in the first place. Everything can fade away, and not only that but abruptly end or go up in flames — our possessions, health and relationships.
But I serve a God of restoration. What truly matters and is eternal can never be taken from us. “For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11). Let’s not wait till our last breath to realize this is the mandate for our lives on earth and in eternity.