“Kairos moment” is a phrase you wouldn’t want to throw around too easily, or say too often. It ought to be reserved for big events, about big issues, a moment when we might actually be feeling the ground beneath our feet shift.
I think this might be one of those moments.
It’s not reasonable to call Dylann Roof, who last week killed nine people at a historic black church, a “whacked-out kid”.
We would have to work pretty hard not to connect this event with the deaths of unarmed black men in police custody that we are just beginning to be conscious about.
It has become almost impossible to deny that there is a legacy of racism in this country, or that all of us are living with the destructive effects of America’s failure to deal fully with its long history of slavery and racial discrimination.
This is the time for us to face the truths of racism—honestly, with humility, and with a willingness to make the changes without which this country, our communities, our families cannot heal or be healthy.
As we wait for a Supreme Court decision that will decide whether another group of people will be included in privileges that the rest of us have enjoyed for a longtime without question— the rights and blessings of marriage—I am reminded that even Supreme Court decisions don’t have the power to change us. The opening of minds and hearts comes much more slowly, and it requires different tools.
Real change takes courage. It takes a willingness to do the work that needs to be done, and to bear some costs. It takes the gathered intentions of many people who are deeply convinced of the right thing to do.
May we be ready to be fully engaged in this Kairos moment.
With love and with prayers for courage—Kathi