When do we act?

headlines read

Boko Haram slaughters mass captives in new video

And friends cry out on social media “How long O Lord”

as if our part is done, and the evil that continues to infect Nigeria is due to God’s inactivity.

Prayer is something I believe in.

But when do we act?

This past summer, a provocative suggestion was made on the floor of my denomination’s annual conference. What if we negotiated with the Boko Haram to return the 200 school girls for the lives of a few good Brethren?

This was received with disbelief and attitude and dismissal.

But….when do we act? When do WE who pray how long O Lord, get up off our knees and DO.

We are the how long.

We are the power to make change

But we abdicate the power of our own living by praying and wiping our hands of the need to act.

What would happen, if instead of eating ourselves from the inside out, the United States and all the religious groups gathered forces to say no to the Boko Haram? What if we believed what we said when banners raise with #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter #copslivesmatter

what the hell…..Nigerian lives matter. Even the lives of the Boko Haram. Even as they perpetuate evil.

When do we act?

Do we send delegations over to stand arm in arm around villages? Do we send in troops who are currently protecting our oil rights? Do we offer our lives for the lives of others?

When do we act?

What does our faith mean, if we stridently power fist our belief that we should keep “Christ” in Christmas, but do nothing else to be Christ in the world?

I don’t have an answer. I don’t know what I will do. I will pray but not with the expectation that God will hand down a tidy miracle and bring our girls home, stop attacks, bring peace. I will pray that God does a smack down on our hearts, exploding vision and means to see the deeper tensions and reasons this is happening. Then we can act, for then we’ll know the heart of the matter.

How long O Lord? How long till we open our eyes and see the solutions you’ve been speaking to us all along?


weeping without answers,


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