I read a post in a public forum recently from a man who had a disagreement with some colleagues. He repeated several times that he didn’t understand what he’d done to create this situation and shared his repeated attempts to fix the situation by “demanding they reconcile.”
Not surprisingly, these demands for reconciliation had failed. So he was writing to see if the community forum could offer a way for him to “fix this now.”
Fix this now.
We humans don’t care for the waiting part of life, the time hurts may take to heal, the time new life may take to be born. the time new truths may take to be breathed into life. We are not, seemingly, attune to our ability for our souls, in silence, to wait.
So we fiddle and demand and tinker in our attempts to fix this now, whatever the this is that needs fixed. Perhaps it’s a disagreement between people. Perhaps it a bigger problem, like our many institutional abilities to discount the dignity of every human being. We love the instant fix.
On Good Friday, we try the instant fix. We are so undone by the words of Jesus and his commandments to love, to serve, to forgive, that we want to fix the feeling we have when we realize we fail to live those commandments. We are so undone by the idea that God loves the outcasts, the sinners, the “those people” as much as God loves us, that we want to fix that equality and return to our world of treating underlings as such. We are so undone by the truth that power, status, and position have nothing to do with how much God loves, and in fact God seems to have a preferential love for those who are without any sizable resume, that we want to fix that truth back to our lie that we must earn validation instead of accept grace and love that falls freely on everyone.
Fix this now! we yell. Crucify him!
Clearly, our attempts to fix this now rarely work. The big problems, the big truths, the big moments in life are almost never fixed now; they are instead lived into, realized, discovered minuscule moment by moment. As the poet Rilke says, we learn the way by walking.
God, we see, asks us to wait. God asks us to sit with our discomfort, our grief, and even our annoyance. God asks us to wait, to pray, to be with all of creation in silence as we wait. And God waits with us today. In silence.
So we wait. We sit with the very uncomfortable truth that we cannot fix this now. We sit with our lack of power, the mess we’ve made with our attempts to fix this now, and the discomfort all of this realization brings.