Lazarus waits, Rachel weeps
Here’s the nut of it:
In our impervious boxes and minimalist depictions of the Christian story, we comfortably live as if in our own world, blind and unconcerned with the world of suffering around us, intent to tell our feel-good stories while withdrawing from the harder scenes of life…
In reality, the stories Jesus left us with are so much more than wishful thinking and his proclamations of the kingdom among us are far from declarations of escapism.
The story of Rachel weeping for her slaughtered children and Lazarus waiting in agony at the gate of someone who could make a difference are two stories among many that refuse to let us sweep the suffering of the world under the rug of unimportance. The fact that they are included in the gospel that brings us the hope of Christ …
For Christ brings the kind of hope that can reach even the most hopeless among us. And Jesus hasn’t overlooked the suffering of the world anymore than he has invited his followers to do so; it is a part of the very story we tell.
Thus, precisely because the faith we proclaim is not a drug that anesthetizes or a dream that deludes, we must tell the whole story and not merely the parts that lessen our own pain. We must also live as people watchful and ready to be near those who weep and wait–the poor, the demoralized, and the suffering.
There are far too many Rachels who are still weeping and Lazaruses who are still waiting, waiting for men and women of faith to be the good news they proclaim.