on crises and catastrophes

I was thinking about crises and catastrophes, while riding my bike into work this morning… Someone asked yesterday, in response to a thing I wrote for Crosslight about easter, why i would call myself a person of faith. I do so because it makes me live differently. Calling myself Christian gives me no choice about how I treat others. And I need that. And may well need it even more over the next few months…

We are what we do.
Who we are is the way we treat other people.

If we choose ‘Christian’ as our identity
and as our community
then we are actively giving up the right to choose how we treat other people.
We are actively giving up the right to pre-judge another person, or a group of people
We are giving up the right to condemn.

We are actively giving up the right to think we are better,
more righteous,
more holy
more wise
more faithful
more humble
than anyone else in our community.

We are actively committing, in every moment, to being people of grace and people of justice.
We are actively choosing mercy and compassion.
We are actively choosing to look for the worth another person brings to our world.
We are actively choosing love. Even when we don’t feel like it. Even when it goes against every part of our being.

We are choosing to believe that everybody’s story is more than what we know of it.
We are choosing to believe that death, hopelessness, despair and fear will not be how we will live.

Some say we are in a crisis. But that’s only true if money is the thing which determines crisis.
If we choose ‘Christian’ as our identity
and our community
then it can’t.
What we do with what we own cannot be what creates our identity.

We will only be in a crisis if we lose who we are in the process.
If we actively choose not to be who we have claimed we are.


  1. What a wonderful piece of writing. ‘Actively giving up the right to’ & ‘actively committing to’, we are what we do, and who we are is the way we treat other people. Thank you, Cheryl.

  2. Bron

    Just wanted to let you know that I used this last Sunday in worship. Also that I turned once again to your writing/liturgies over Easter. Thank you ..your gift of insight and language is such a blessing and a blessing that keeps going over and over and over. I am so grateful that you continue to share.


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