But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Genesis 11:5-7
Remember those days when Novel Corona was still, you know, novel? I miss those days. For a moment, we seemed united, working together against a common foe.
But lately? ARGGGHHHH.
You know what does NOT feed me during this stage of the crisis? My feed. My Facebook feed, that is. For a while it was all, “We’ve got this”, and, “God bless our teachers.” That was great, but today it’s like we’re all over the place; everybody’s got a different take, a different priority, a different complaint. Why can’t we just hold onto the “all in this together” mindset, instead of more back biting, blame gaming, and general disunity?
Four things I need to remind myself:
- I’m the type that thrives on harmony, so I’m still learning to appreciate dissonance.
- Sites like Facebook just magnify the anger, fear, and misinformation.
- Just like 9/11, unity comes in the initial moments, but as people live into the pain they are likely to respond differently.
- This is all God’s fault.
It’s God’s fault! Remember the Tower of Babel? Those were some good times. We were all united behind a common purpose, focused on the issues at hand, everyone doing their part, building that awesome tower. All together! And then, BOOM! What once was a people with a common purpose became thousands of fractured groups who couldn’t communicate.
This puzzles me. My whole life, I’ve been driven by this desire for humanity to come together, to unite, to be of one mind, to sing kumbaya and join hand in hand. It sounds nice, doesn’t it?
But in the babel story in Genesis, God seems to have a different agenda. God seems to prefer a world where people have different priorities, positions, and problems. A world where communication is a challenge, where unity is not as important as…as what? Diversity?
Maybe. Some scholars contend the story of the Tower of Babel is a story of God creating diversity, so that instead of focusing on moving upwards, towards God, humanity would learn to move outwards, into the world.
If that’s true, then maybe God is happy to see all the contrary posts scrolling through my Facebook feed. People with all their different opinions, struggles, and communication troubles. If that’s true, then I still have a lot to learn about God.
Perhaps the Kingdom of God advances in many ways, not just my way. As much a fan of harmony as I am, perhaps I’m beginning to recognize what can happen in a cacophony.
So, no matter what comes next with Covid-19, I’m going to reduce my pining for the days when everything seemed so unified, so babel-icious. I’m going to come down from my ivory tower into the real world that is messy and “confused”.
However you see God at work in this crazy crisis, please post it, email it, or shout it from your front porch. Let the world hear Good News as it comes through your particular life and circumstances.
I, for one, will be listening for you. I may not always understand or agree with your point of view,
but I promise not to unfriend you. Probably.
Have a good week,