If you find yourself driving south on Route 495, look along the edge of the highway just after the Westford exit, and you might see them: a family of Canada Geese with 3 or 4 goslings. They look just like the picture above, fluffy and yellow! So cute! But every time I drive by them, I gasp in alarm-- because they are almost always RIGHT on the edge of the road. Yesterday, one of those little fluffy goslings was pecking at the ground with one foot on the pavement and one on the grass.
"Be careful, little buddy!" I shouted at the gosling as I sped by at 70 mph, just feet from its tiny body. The parent geese stood close by, on alert, but still-- I find the scene incomprehensible. There are other places to go! Why choose to live at a small, murky pond by a sad strip of grass next to the highway?! Their lives appear so fragile. Such tiny creatures, living so close to machinery that rushes by, night and day, and could so easily crush them. Why don't they move? Why do they stay in a place of danger?
Why don't WE move? I don't necessarily mean a geographical move. I mean why do we (as humans) keep choosing situations that are dangerous? We continue to vote against our own well-being (health care, gun safety, consumer protections). We continue to scapegoat groups of people. We continue to dump toxins into our environment and products. We continue to consume things that harm us (unhealthy food and media). We continue to overwork and rush at the expense of our health and relationships. We continue to elect leaders who lie, act out of greed, and harm the most vulnerable. But we stay in these places, even though vast systems threaten to crush us and our children. Why don't we move from the danger?
Christianity is a faith of transformation. Jesus calls us to wake up, to see that the kingdom is at hand, to order our lives in a new way. Leaving behind an old, familiar way of being - even if it's harming us - can be very challenging. Often we'd rather suffer than make a change. B ut that's one purpose of the church: to support us as we seek out new places to dwell, whether that's a spiritual place or a physical place. May we have the courage to seek new places, to "move" when we feel called to do so, and to believe in the good news: justice and mercy are at hand!