A Safe Distance

A Safe Distance

inspired by Luke 19:1-10; the story of Zacchaeus

Deborah Beach Giordano
© October 20, 2010

Jesus said,
“Do not be afraid,”
again
and again,
so
he must
have thought
it was
important. 

It is not simply
a reassurance:
“You have nothing to fear,”
but a warning:
“Don’t let fear run your life.”

Yet how often we forget –
wrapped up,
as we are,
in the ceaseless invocations
of terror and timidity
preached daily
by the worldly powers
seeking to keep us
under wraps;
spun into cocoons
of silence,
paralyzed with fright.

Avoid this,
Don’t do that,
watch what you eat,
don’t shake hands,
use Purell,
be on the lookout,
take off your shoes,
step through the metal detector,
keep your head down,
move along now,
stay away;
we’ll tell you
when it’s safe.

While we
cower
in fear,
we will see
nothing,
hear nothing,
do nothing,
accomplish nothing,
change
nothing.

And that
is simply
not right.

Friend Zacchaeus
preferred
to take refuge
in a tree;
to avoid
the crowd,
to keep
from getting involved;
to sit back
and watch
from
a safe distance.

And Jesus said,
Come down from there;
I’m here to stay
with you.

It was a call
that had to be answered
with action;
following the Lord
draws us
out of ourselves
and into the world.

In serving Christ
Zacchaeus
realized
he was also called
to serve
humankind.

Jesus said, “That’s why the Son of Man came:
to seek out and save the lost.”




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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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