I never got to go to sleep away summer camp but most every year of elementary school, I went to day camp at a local community center. The last year I did summer camp, I thought I was way too old. My mom let me go to camp down the street from the store where she worked. I made better friends with the camp counselors than I did with the kids because frankly, I was way more mature.
I spent more of my time hanging out with the counselors and they really liked me. I was really quite special and got all kinds of special privileges. There were also three girls who hated me. They made it very clear and somehow we always got stuck at the same table doing crafts and whatever busy-work we were given. They used to make fun of me all the time and tell me to shut up. The counselors told me not to worry, they didn't matter.
One day after kickball, we sat down in the air conditioning to paint or something. The three girls laughed amongst themselves and made sure to make me feel excluded. I tried to join the conversation and their leader told me to shut up again. So I stood up. And she stood up. And then I slapped her.
I hit her hard and I left a mark. The room got silent and the counselors who watched it all happen covered their snickers and giggles. The sweaty girl turned red and her friends didn't know what to do. I left the table and ate my lunch with the counselors. I didn't even get in trouble because I was one of the favorites.
It wasn't right. Even though they were like a little pack of mean girl bullies. It wasn't right because I knew better, my family raised me to never hit anyone in anger. It wasn't right because I knew I'd get away with it, because I was the counselors' favorite.
Somehow, this makes me think of the Church. Sometimes I think Christians go around thinking they are God's favorites and they can slap people around. Many like to use social media as a way to insult, berate and hate those who they think are wrong. Many hide behind blogs and would never say the hateful things to someone's face.
Who are we to think we have it all right and that we are to bring about judgement to everyone we meet? It's not healthy witness to the world when we act as though we are the "favorites" and can get away with bad behavior. Remember that bit about "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"? (Romans 3:23) ALL means you and me and everyone. How about we simply share the love we've found in our relationship with Jesus Christ and meet some needs? Perhaps someone would ask and listen to your point of view on today's state of affairs if you weren't slapping them in public.
Yes, there's a place and time to be the alternative voice. But God's word says in Proverbs 16:24, "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." What's the motivation behind your rant? Is it to save souls and heal bones or is it just to be right?