SHIELDS UP! RED ALERT!

The bridge of the Starship Enterprise lists to the port as it takes a direct hit.  Sirens blare as the hapless crew is tossed about.  The entire crew is in battle mode, and their one focused goal is survival.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a Trekker.

This archetypal scene (which always makes me wonder why they didn’t wear seatbelts) has been resonating with my life during a pandemic.  The year 2020 seems like one unending battle against unknown forces.  There have been days when I’ve imagined this novel coronavirus as some sort of alien that has invaded us as some external threat.

Sometimes the perceived threats are from a bit closer to home.

At Tuesday night’s Presbytery meeting I shared that one of our members criticized our June meeting as it did not engage the Presbytery in regards to the issue of police brutality and racism.  I also shared my initial response that was akin to the Enterprise taking a shot to her hull.  My shields were fully engaged, red lights were pulsing and I felt a bit nauseous from the tossing about (again, seatbelts).

This wasn’t an attack, however.  It was a correction.

The difference between the two is not based on my reaction, but rather on the intent and approach of a colleague. His letter was steeped in theology, reminding me of the foundation on which we both stand.  This wasn’t a snide comment on my inappropriate dress for church (which has happened!), this was a focused effort to realign a community back toward the theology it espoused.

My hunch is that there will be other opportunities in the near future for me – for us – to raise our shields.  My hope and prayer is that we will discover that those “attacks” are also an effort to realign us to the theological values that we share.  This is what we are called to do for one another – we are to firmly and lovingly hold one another accountable.

Now, excuse me as I toss out the red shirts in my closet.[1]


[1] In Star Trek, The Original Series, those who wore red shirts were part of the security team and were generally the ones who were killed. It’s hard to stay in dialogue if you’re wearing a red shirt.

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