I am reading Street Crossers by Rick Shrout. Chapter two is about Jason Evans who started something called Church at
Matthew’s House (or simply Matthew’s House). At the close of the chapter, Rick reflects on some of what Jason has to say:
I was blown away when Jason made the comment about being called to respond when he and his fellow brothers and sisters in arms see darkness at work in the city. He said they wanted “a piece of it” . . . a piece of the darkness. It’s their call to action . . . reminding me of the expression, “a piece of the action.” As individual followers of Christ and as members of local churches, what is your call to action? From where you live, can you see a specific piece of the darkness that threatens individuals and families in your local community? If so, can you identify the action needed in order to confront it? Just imagine if all of us went after a piece of it – a piece of the action – a piece of the darkness. Just how far reaching might our impact be in our neighborhoods, towns, and cities? But in order to get a piece of the action, it will require a trip across the street to see and understand the darkness at work in your city. This calls for people who are willing to go. Find those people and do all you can to help them in their crossing.
Darkness cannot be overcome and displaced by light until light enters into darkened areas. So that’s why we need to be there – simply there – in the darkness. You might think you can stand on one side of the street and direct the beam of a high-powered flashlight into the darkness on the other side. But that’s ineffective. For one thing, darkness hides around corners and can only be exposed up close, by venturing around those corners with light in hand and heart. Furthermore, confronting darkness is not easy. It’s not as simple as identifying what’s wrong with the world and broadcasting that they all have to come over to your side of the street and get fixed. Few will hear the broadcast, and even fewer will listen. Even more telling is that this approach is impersonal, void of relationship and human contact. Then why do we tend to prefer this approach? Because it’s easy. The more difficult way requires following The Way – a way that leads to face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball relationships with people who might make us uncomfortable.
Rick’s reflection makes me think of Bruce Cockburn’s unforgettable words: “But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight; Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight.”*
*”Lovers In A Dangerous Time,” Bruce Cockburn; September 1983. Toronto, Canada.