One of the more amusing tweeters that I follow is @julian_ass purporting to be the wikileaker Julian Assange. One of the more humorous of his(?) was this tweet:
There is a huge amount of angst going on at the moment regarding politics and just as MP’s expenses was at the heart of it last year so this Christmas we have a dual blow. Wikileaks and the student protests with the Lib Dem MP’s accused of not standing by their promise to vote against student fees. Now you will all have your opinion as to where your sympathies lies in all of these. There is enough on the media about it all.
But it got me thinking along slightly different lines. Our reading on Sunday morning (and one of them on Sunday evening) was the reading from Genesis 3 part of which reads:
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” (NRSV)
The interesting thing here is the idea of being relationally naked. The sense in which there should be nothing to hide from one another. That we are open to one another. In that sense then all of these – the MP’s, the wikileaks, the promises made at elections are all about our running away from being naked. They are all about hiding and clothing ourselves. So we can feel righteous anger can’t we?
Well this is where we need to look at ourselves. Because of course the truth is that we are not naked and vulnerable to one another. We hide things from even those closest to us. We don’t tell everything to everyone. And indeed there are times that we understand that we shouldn’t. Another of the @julian_ass tweets makes the point well:
It would, of course, be cruel to share such knowledge without care and a relationship in which you had the right to share it. Part of this is that we live in a broken world. A world where our decisions in life have all too often driven us to a more and more relationally fractured life.
Sometimes we don’t want the knowledge that we should know. Before the last election all the parties knew that cuts would be made. None of them wanted to tell us how or where because they knew that we would reject them. Like an addict on drugs we were not prepared to face up to our role in all of this. So we, at some level, wanted our politicians to lie to us, to tell us that it would be all right. And when we find that it isn’t – its their fault. We refuse the truth – that politicians are a reflection of us. That we would do no better than they do (and often probably worse) – and I include both members of the government and the opposition in this.
To be open to one another is a long slow process and doesn’t mean that we can suddenly all be open about everything on every level. It comes as we are prepared to listen and be open to our own fears.
Christians believe that one day God will judge all things. He will “bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and disclose the purposes of the heart.” as St Paul says.
And judgement starts with us.
This judgement is aimed primarily to help set things to rights.
Giles Fraser (Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral) was on Thought for the Day this morning and said this:
For this judgment is also the judgment of love itself. Judgment is to be seen and recognized with compassion. Yes, my failings are exposed. My stupidities brought to light. But this is less the judgment of thunderbolts and grand disclosures and more the judgement of a tear that rolls down the face of someone who really cares for you. And that, of course, can be much much worse.
I remember as a child breaking a treasured possession of my father.
I expected him to be angry and shout at me.
It was far worse.
So maybe, just maybe we should have a long hard look at our own attitudes and the anger and passions that we display.
Maybe we can then expect to be treated more as an adult.