“Am I a God near by, says the LORD, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? … See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the LORD, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 23, Sunday Lent Five, the Reading, the Daily Office, Year One
There is no escaping the truth of who I am, in spirit and in truth. Who can hide from the truth of who they are? I cannot. I can only accept it or deny it, and no matter how much I deny it and hide it from others, there is no changing its fact. My inner “prophets” may dream their escapist dreams and fanaticize their escapist fantasies, but they don’t change the ultimate reality of who I am. I may dream my escapes, but call them what they are, is what I have to do. There is nothing gained in playing the pretend game, other than more emotional, spiritual and physical ruin to rain down upon me and those with who I’m in relationships with. If I’m not careful I could reap the tempest of ruin. As uncomfortable as it may be, compassion requires honesty, even hard honesty, first with ourselves, then in the gauging of our society and culture as witnessed in our economics and politics, those two things which mark whether “the people profit”. Then from the profound compassion of Christ’s giving, we may discern where we can help form justice for the whole community, as compassion without action is an empty ruinous dream.