Halloween, 2019. I had the collar, I had the robe, why not? Of course, I outweighed her by thrice, but, you know, I pulled my hair back and did my best. RBG.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is heartache for her family and many Americans. It’s a cause for celebration for a handful of others.
More to the point, her death is being called a black swan event. That was a new term to me. I googled. A black swan event is “an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences (Jim Chappelow, “Black swan,” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blackswan.asp). Is any death really that unpredictable? No. Was RBG’s death unpredictable, given her long battle with cancer? Not at all.
Yet, does her death have potentially severe consequences? I fear, yes. I fear it will unleash even further vitriol, during a season of such meanness and spite within America as I have not witnessed in my lifetime. I fear that ugly things I will hear and read out of people whom I have, until now, known to be kind of soul and demeanor.
I wonder if, instead, this black swan event may in fact be an opportunity for us as people of faith to walk our talk. Love your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Practice mercy (Luke 6:36). Love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30).
My prayer for followers of Jesus in America is this:
- That we followers of Jesus will put our allegiance to Him above party loyalty
- That, out of that allegiance, we will recognize that every person–even those with whom we profoundly disagree–is a child of God, made in His image
- That, out of that recognition, we will commit to stopping the name-calling and mud-slinging and yet be brave to speak the truth in love without fear of public shaming
- That, out of that commitment, we will witness to the goodness and grace of our Savior and His hope
I invite others to join in this prayer, this allegiance, this recognition, and this commitment, so that Jesus will be glorified indeed.