Friday, February 04, 2011


Fed up.  
Enough is enough.
No more. 
He’s got to go. 
We can’t wait for tomorrow anymore.

Out of the turmoil in Egypt comes the hope of people who can no longer stand to be oppressed.  These are people who are not being paid to riot or stand in disobedience.  (Although I’m sure there are some in the mix).  No, these are folks who dream of a better future and want a voice in developing that future.  They are tired of military and political oppression.  Tired of poverty. Tired of not having access to the best of things.  Tired of being in the back of the line.  Tired of a lack of opportunity. Tired of corruption.  Tired of dictatorship.

And I stand back, in the comfort of my reality, and shout ‘Bravo’.  Thank you for standing for what you think is right and good.

It’s hard  for us to understand what’s happening in Egypt and throughout the middle east.  It’s truly foreign to our recent experience. Perhaps the last time we witnessed it was during the Civil Rights Movement.  People are so fed up that they are willing to die for something better.  This isn’t some relatively miniscule difference between different forms of political expression.  This is a fight against tyranny and oppression. It transcends the skirmishes between Democrats and Republicans and Tea Party that sparks our national discussions.  Our issues are not life and death kind of things.  For the most part we are on the same page in the USA.  In Egypt people aren’t even using the same book.

And so, I stand in awe of those people who are standing up and standing strong against evil.  They could die for that.  And some will.  What am I willing to stand up to and for?

I don’t know what’s going to happen in Egypt.  This could end up badly for those wanting reform. They could be squashed literally and figuratively.  It could lead to free elections.  And a free people might choose someone we might not like very well here in the west.  But they could choose someone who will help usher in a new era of peace, honesty, and transparency.  It’s a bit of a crap shoot.

The world is changing in front of our eyes.  What was isn’t anymore  The locus of power and influence is changing from the west to the east.  Are we ready to adapt to the world that is instead of the world we hope will be?  Can the changes in places like Egypt be a catalyst for meaningful change here in the west?  What does power and influence look like in today’s global village?

Reform movements spark other reform movements.  For sure, some will be fueled by fundamentalists of every stripe.  And that scares me. It’s hard to reason with and make nice with crazy people.  But reform is inevitable and much of it should be welcomed. Of course if you’re on the receiving end of the the reformation then it gets  quite uncomfortable.  It’s always tough to look at the warts and malignancies you’ve introduced into a system.

Pray for Egypt.  Pray that the poor will be given a voice.  Pray that the religious minorities (that includes Christians) will not be persecuted.  Pray for wise voices to be heard.  Pray for justice to be done. Pray that wrongs will be righted and for human and civil rights to be honored.

1 comment:

Mark in Lombard said...

Mike, when your fingers hit the keyboard, the voice you find is so full of truth, grace, love, wisdom, and gentleness.

What may not be so obvious to the casual reader, is that you have the courage of your convictions. It inspires me whenever I see that quality in you... and it challenges me to examine myself more carefully.

There is no doubt in my mind (notwithstanding the safe distance that you presently enjoy from the turmoil in Egypt), that were you actually there, you would be one of those courageous voices calling for freedom and civil rights... despite the obvious danger that would entail.

What would separate you from most of the "voices" in that crowd, is that you would not simply yell louder to be heard... or "persuade" those unwilling to listen with violence; rather, your compassion for the other guy's pain, your ear for HIS vision for the future, and your willingness to give that voice "bandwidth," would not only be a tribute to Christianity, but also a shining example of the precepts that form the very foundation of democracy.

In God We Trust!