A father and his little son were in their house when it was engulfed in a huge fire. The boy was on the second floor. The house was full of so much smoke the boy could not see his father. The father instructed the son to follow his voice to find the way out of the house. Eventually the boy came to the window of his upstairs bedroom where he could hear his father shouting to him from the front yard below. “Son, please jump!” the father shouted. The boy replied saying, “Daddy,I can’t see you. I”m afraid to jump!” The father said, “Son,I know you can’t see me, but I can see you. Please jump and I’ll catch you.”
At that moment, with great courage and trust, the boy jumped safely into his father’s arms. Like the boy in the story, we sometimes fail to take action because we are afraid of failing, looking stupid, being criticized or being misunderstood. The truth is, sometimes that is exactly what happens. However, none of these should be the reasons we do not do what needs to be done in our lives.
Jesus experienced a lot of negativity when he took action in his life. In the Gospel, when Jesus was healing, forgiving and working other miracles in people’s lives, he was criticized. Some said he was out of his mind. Others said he was possessed by a demon (Mark 3:20-25). Yet he continued to carry out his ministry of life-giving activity. Failing to take action can have devastating consequences. If the little boy in the story had not made that frightening leap, he would have died. Poverty, hunger, racism and other social ills just get worse if we are unwilling to first admit they exist and then explore solutions. When we know someone is being abused or mistreated and do nothing for fear of what will happen to us, we become part of the problem. In our personal lives problems that go unaddressed in our marriages, in our relationships, or with our health, just intensify. Sometimes, like the boy in the story who could not see his father, it is hard to see our heavenly Father. Yet, our Father is always there. Where in our lives might we need to take a leap of faith?
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector, Christ Cathedral