— Desmond Tutu South African churchman, politician, archbishop, Nobel Prize winner 1931
Context: Some of my friends are skeptical when they hear me say this, but I am by nature a person who dislikes confrontation. I have consciously sought during my lifetime to emulate my mother, whom our family knew as a gentle “comforter of the afflicted.” However, when I see innocent people suffering, pushed around by the rich and the powerful, then, as the prophet Jeremiah, says, if I try to keep quiet is is as if the word of God burned like a fire in my breast. I feel compelled to speak out, sometimes to even argue with God over how a loving creator can allow this to happen.
In the Church of Sant'Egido in Rome, home of an extraordinary community of lay people devoted to working with the poor, there is an old crucifix that portrays Christ without arms. When I asked about its importance to the community, I was told that it shows how God relies on us to do God's work in the world.
Without us, God has no eyes, without us, God has no ears; without us, God has no arms or hands. God relies on us. Won't you join other people of faith in becoming God's partners in the world?
Forward (April 2011)