I have come to understand my friend Zach Seekins is a prophet. He posted a pretty wild statement on facebook this morning. It was one of those shoot-from-the-hip thoughts. But that's what prophets do. They say wild things that nobody really expects can happen. Only God can make their wild ideas blossom into reality.
When he was a sixth grader the youth group visited a homeless shelter and Zach brought back a report to our congregation. He stood behind the pulpit in our sanctuary and told us: "I challenge our congregation to do something to help the homeless." The following Sunday a homeless guy showed up at our church. I told you he was a prophet.
Zach lives in New York City now, working by day and searching for acting jobs the rest of his time, not starving but not comfortable. He's used to the edgy side of life by now. But he remains a prophet. Here's his post this morning after yet another day of random acts of mass shooting where 20 people have been killed after a couple just walked in and started shooting people for apparently no reason:
"I have a sister in college, a little brother in an elementary school, and a mother that works in retail. Those places should be safe, they use to be safe. They are not anymore. You wanna do some good for the world. Dig a hole in your backyard. Really freaking deep, and put every gun you can find or get (which are not hard to get anyways) and bury them, so so deep. In fact, if you love your guns so much, bury yourself. Double win. For everyone. Thanks. #done"
My reply to Zach was that then we should throw in all the people that wanted to argue about it. He was puzzled and uncertain whether I was agreeing with him or not. But, of course, I agree with him. If we're going to be wild and crazy --which is what prophets do--let's go all the way. If we can dream up a prophet to lead us let's go for it.
We may not have a solid prophet right now. Zach does have a day job, as all successful starving actors do. If there's no clear leader to rid us of this gun problem, no clear plan, let's dream a prophet. And let's dream the way a prophet would dream for us. Let's dream up a world the way a prophet would dream for us: a world without guns, where they have all been buried in holes deeper than we can dig. Where violence doesn't even require a fist. "Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me........."
I realize I just broke into a line from Somewhere Over the Rainbow. And that I sound unrealistic and stupidly naïve. But that's what prophets do. But that's exactly what a baby in a manger was for. Is there anything more stupidly naïve than a baby in a manger?
Let me see if I can get this right.........We started with a baby in a manger. We ended with a guy who gave himself up to violence and gore without resisting-- so that our sins would be forgiven. So we could live our lives in confidence that our debt was paid and we can live in peace without fear.
So, what are we afraid of? Why can't we dig Zach's hole?