Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Blessing of Uncertainty

A Sermon by Rev. Debra McKnight
Preached on the Fifth Birthday of Urban Abbey
November 13, 2016

Psalm 1 They are like trees planted by the water and they bear fruit in due season, and in all they do, they give life. 

This has been my prayer and I found it because things were not going so well. I prayed it because this adventure of starting a new church and a new coffee shop was harder than I had ever imagined. I prayed it, I drew it, I wrote it over and over, I carried it in a note in my pocket. I prayed this prayer because I was so uncertain, not unsure but uncertain. I have prayed this prayer hoping to be that tree planted by the water. I have prayed that prayer waiting for the “due season.” I have prayed that prayer and looked at the branches and thought “where is the fruit?” And sometimes that prayer has an expletive right before fruit.

This is a new church start, and it is important to know that while every church job has its share of uncertain space, new church starts are statistically likely to fail. New things are fragile….think about babies and how new parents check on them and worry when they sleep too much or too little. Really, most new church starts fail. And then we added this element of a coffee shop… also pretty likely to fail and then a year ago we added campus ministry…which as you can guess, is not something people do because it is so easy. This is a new church start and in addition to a high likelihood of failure, there is something else unique about our church start which has nothing to do with coffee. Most new churches (regardless of denomination) are started by cute, youngish, white guys with a tattoo or a piercing…but not both…that would be too much, and they play a guitar. I don’t play guitar, and I often think they just ran out of boys to ask. All of this is to say, I am often shocked that we are here and that the Annual Conference not only said yes but said yes with a huge gift of support.
When we started, we had a plan. I wrote a plan and got feedback on the plan and edited the plan and met with people about the plan and changed the plan and took classes about how to make a plan work. It was a great plan. It was 20 pages single spaced front and back. It was such a good plan that our conference staff person shared it with everyone everywhere…even people in Texas. And I can tell you nothing….ABSOLUTELY NOTHING has gone according to this plan…and I couldn’t be more grateful.

It has given me real uncertainty. In an early discussion with our Bishop, She said, “Debra, I know you are not used to failing.” And she was right. I was not thinking about failure, as much as I was thinking about my career and the path to being a Senior Pastor of a large church. I had to get comfortable with failure. I had to get comfortable with risk. I had to get comfortable with uncertainty, and I had to ask new questions about my life and my future and what I might be letting go of and what was really important to me.

I needed this uncertainty. It has been a gift for me. It has required me to pray, really pray, an earnest prayer. It has required me to let go of the notion that if I worked harder I could make this go on my own power. It has required me to reach out and ask for help. It has required me to name that failure isn’t really the worst thing that can happen, but fearing it might be the worst motivation. I imagine if you look into your own lives you can find those uncertain places. Those moments when the choices were heavy and hard to make. Those moments when you had to reach out for help or care or support. Those moments when the future seemed fuzzy and the next step unclear. The dictionary says certainty is about confidence in an outcome and links it to a sense of clarity, which implies some things about uncertainty. When speaking of faith, it is not uncommon to hear people name absolutes, clear steps that trump doubt. But I think uncertainty is faithful. I think it has a spirituality and might be received as a gift.

I would argue that uncertainty doesn’t mean we lack confidence or clarity. It means we can be real and vulnerable and honest about needing other folks along the way. Uncertainty is not new to faith. Every story in our Biblical Narrative from one end to the other, engages this great uncertainty. The stories of the most interesting people are not easy; they do not follow a predictable pattern, and they keep you guessing. Jesus struggles, his disciples struggle to the point that we doubt them ever getting it right. Paul struggles, and the churches he starts struggle with what it means to be church so that he must write them over and over about love and faithfulness and letting go of their petty ego garbage. Uncertainty is woven through our story. David is most interesting when he is struggling, and Abraham and Sarah dwell in epic uncertainty…wondering where and when their faithfulness will bear fruit.

It is Jacob’s story that connects me into this spirituality of uncertainty. I want to go to the place in Genesis where he is wrestling with God. It comes at this key point where he can’t go forward and can’t go back, at least not very easily. Behind him is an angry father-in-law and in front of him is an angry brother. His life, his wellbeing, his family’s wellbeing…all of it hangs in the balance, and so he spends the night wrestling with God. Though we get the sense he has done it before. He is born holding his twin brother’s heel, implying that wrestling starts at conception. He is always wrestling, always hustling, always striving and struggling. He is a trickster, Mama’s boy, not a man’s man like his brother. And there are times it seems like she might be the only one that loves him. He hustles his brother’s blessing by cooking a good soup. I guess Home Economics really paid off for him. He tricks his brother and his father out of a blessing, and even with a blessing he ends up sleeping on stones and traveling to his Uncle’s where he meets his match, his Uncle. He marries, and even his wives wrestle and struggle and hustle. He wrestles away from his father-in-law with sheep and goats, and his wives hide some gods. And now he is stuck: this life of struggle and wrestling culminates in this night where his life hangs in the balance. Perhaps we have had these moments, these moments of wrestling, of wondering, of worry all night long. Perhaps we have had these spaces of doubt and grief and depression and struggle that we would name as so powerful we must wrestle with them. So here, all night long, Jacob wrestles. In the morning, he will not let go. He holds on and asks for a blessing. And the blessing comes. He is transformed from Jacob to Israel. He hangs on in the uncertainty. He holds on and wrestles with what is real all night long.

Jacob wrestles, and it changes him. I think that is the essence of uncertainty. It is a willingness to wrestle: to hold on for the blessing, to face the future regardless of what it might bring. Now this may seem ok here and now while we are together and about to eat cupcakes. But I bet if we really look at it we will have to remember that the world does not like uncertainty. We make plans, and they don’t happen. We make plans for families and for marriages, we make plans for careers and communities and elections and businesses, and they don’t happen. We make plans, and they don’t work out. And God is with us anyway. Guarantees are hard to come by. And faith, I believe, is too complicated for easy absolutes or five step plans. Faith is about wrestling. Jacob’s life names a spirituality of uncertainty. I know, for me, the most uncertain times have been the places of the most growth, the deepest sense of God and the widest reach to friends and allies along the way. When I am uncertain…I am most faithful. Perhaps you are too… perhaps we can value uncertainty, questions and wonder and worry and hope in the midst of everything.

I pray for us five more years of blessed uncertainty. Five more years of getting comfortable with failing, making mistakes and taking chances. Five more years of wondering who might show up when we need them most. Five more years of hearing hard stories and wondering if the world will ever be changed, and how we can be a part of that. Five more years of wresting reminding us, each of us, you and I, in our corporate life together and in our individual journeys, that we need help and can’t do it alone. Five more years of real and honest and vulnerable and uncertain. Five more years of waiting for fruit and for our due season. So we are going to wrestle and hold on and ask for a blessing. We will be relentless in the uncertainty. Because, I swear that is where we meet God. I swear that is where we really start to care about each other, when we know we need each other, and that is a blessing.

Questions for reflection:
Where have you experienced uncertainty? 
What was it like and what did it mean? 
What did you learn from it and where are you looking for more? 
What does Psalm 1 mean for you? What season are you in? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Relics for Real Life

A Sermon by Rev. Debra McKnight
Urban Abbey
November 6, 2016

1 Samuel 7:12
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’ 

When I lived in Germany, every church or Cathedral visited seemed to host some kind of relic…or at least it seemed that way.  Golden cases complete with precious stones held sacred remains, sometimes they looked like hands or feet or heads… just to let you know what kind of relic they held.  In Aachen, Germany, at the Cathedral and palace of Charlemagne, you can see his sarcophagus and just beyond it you can see a gold, bejeweled bust that sports his actual skull cap.  You can look around and find a golden arm and hand bedazzled by precious stones and there is this window of thick, thick medieval glass where you can ‘see’ the bones of the once great king’s forearm.  And in this moment you realize that this guy is everywhere but his original resting place in the Aachen Cathedral.  A few hundred years after his death, he was declared a saint and this tomb opened for the taking.  Prince ‘so and so’ took his knee caps to southern France and his great-great-great grandson took his clavicle to eastern Germany and his teeth landed in Italy (none of this is accurate..but true in spirit…he is everywhere).  He is everywhere because his grandsons and great grandsons and those who wished they had a bit of his skill and good fortune to rule all of Europe thought having a little piece of Charlemagne would make all the difference.  Like a little bit of Charlemagne would some how bring their leadership to new levels.

Charlemagne isn’t the only one picked apart in Europe.  You can see the very tunic that Jesus himself might have worn in Trier, a gift from Emperor Constantine’s mother to the new Roman center of government and the church she built.  You can see heads and feet and everything else in between in temples and churches and centers of pilgrimage.  In fact, at the Museum of the Mileages in Paris, you can see a gold statue of Mother Mary holding Baby Jesus…but this baby Jesus has an enlarged glass belly button so you too can see the umbilical cord of Christ himself.  I encountered these relics with skepticism akin to seeing a rabbit’s foot at Wall Drug in South Dakota.

I saw relics through the eyes of my protestant upbringing and my modern sensibilities about needing proof on something that was probably not very provable.  I judged them and I judged them to be ridiculous.  The Protestant tradition and the sometimes anti-Catholic sentiment that goes along with it gives us pause when we look at something like Relics.  This season of all souls and all saints marks a key anniversary where we acknowledge how Martin Luther drafted his 95 talking points that outlined the change he longed to see.  Next year marks the 500th anniversary of him nailing it to the university Church door in Wittenberg.  Luther asked for change and he was not the first or the only one, but his voice marked the start of something new.  He was heard and he survived.   Luther questioned the system of indulgences, a pay to play spirituality that made the poor vulnerable and the rich able to buy their faithfulness.  Relics and pilgrimage had a place in this conversation but it was not where they started out.

Relics were a part of the early Christian experience.  Following Christ was risky.  One risked death…gruesome torturous death.   And at their death, their burial place became a source of transformative grief, a place where people could gather to remember and take courage, the way the saint who went before them did.  These burial spaces were on the edges of Roman communities until Christianity became not only legal but also an integral part of the Roman empire.  This transformed the religious landscape and created touchstones for those exploring their faith.  The martyrs were brought into the city and the relics crated a new spiritual geography across Europe.  The relics invited people to connect their faith, to see their lives through the lives of others, to take courage or let go of fear, to be challenged to live into their faith the way the saints who had gone before them did.  Relics were mirrors and invitations to living the life you are called to live.

And if we pause and think about relics like this, then we probably have to admit we have our own relics.  I can think of dozens of relics..none of them are enshrined in gold but all of them matter to me.  Whenever I move to a new home, the first thing I have to do is put my Great Grandma McKnight’s plates on the wall.  They are not particularly fancy, they are knock-off Fiesta wear that my Grandma purchased by saving stamps from the grocery store.  Some of them don’t really match and there are more than 23 place settings.  I hang them on the wall because they are colorful and the glaze may be too toxic for dinner….I heard.  Anyway, her plates remind me of her table.  Every Sunday she gathered people to her table, where she made a feast from scratch…not one Kitchen Aid mixer or food processor.  She made everyone’s favorite and when she needed more room, she was a master of adding a card table or two or perhaps three until the whole table extended into the living room.  It was a huge table, like the painting of ‘The Last Supper’ but there were people on both sides.  So when I look at her plates they remind me of her hospitality.  It challenges me to think about living into her legacy of extending the table and feasting.  It makes me want to do better, to make my home ready for other people..which is not something I am always so good at doing.

I have another relic from my Great Grandma Barta…well I think it is from her.  It is a watch from a box of things that may have belonged to her.  The proof of her ownership doesn’t really matter because when I look at it, I think of this disciplined woman.  This woman who lied about being married so she could keep teaching school and then did it again when she lied about being pregnant so she could keep teaching school.  She had a master’s degree in education from the early 1900’s when most people didn’t have a bachelor’s.  She served as a school administrator during WWII when the men were away and she taught journalism and Latin.  She wrote the president every week after his radio address to share her thoughts and to correct his grammar.  She did all of this and still made suger cookies and raised her twin daughters with her sweet husband.  When I look at this little relic, I think of her urging me to be disciplined.  To be studious, to be rigorous about my work and my life.  When I look at this watch, I want to experience the fruitfulness that she did.  I look at this watch and I think of how I can lean into that part of me that is and was a part of her too.

Perhaps, as I have shared, you have been thinking of those relics in your life.  Maybe there is a tool from your father’s tool shed or a ring from a Great Aunt or a quilt stitched with love that makes you feel warm in a way that has nothing to do with temperature.  Perhaps you have a recipe or a photo or a locket or a coin that reminds you of that sacred soul that urges and challenges and loves you into your best, most whole self.  Maybe that is a relic, that connects us to the past and transforms us.  Perhaps the value of a relic transcends our time and faith.

Our scripture from 1 Samuel 7:12 reflects a moment of uncertainty in the story of the Hebrew people.  They are about to have a king…but its not quite yet and they are in conflict with the Philistines.  They fought and lost, and in their loss, they lost the Arc of the Covenant.  Now this might sound like a Dan Brown novel or an Indiana Jones movie to us, but to them the Arc of the Covenant what a touchstone of their faith.  It was sign and symbol of Israel's relationship with the one God, it called them to account, it gave them courage and urged them to be the kind of people God called them to be.  And then they lost it.  Now the next part of the story is, well, a challenge theologically and it really is a whole other sermon.  To make a long story short, the Arc was not really a blessing to the Philistines it brought hardship to it’s captors and they decides to create a new cart, found two cows that have never been yoked and then they send the Arc away with a guilt offering.  They expected the cows to look for their young but instead the unlikely duo took the most direct path to the people of Israel.  Which was a sure sign to everyone that God was involved and the people and their Arc were reunited.  And so they pause.  The people marked the space and time.  Samuel placed stone upon stone and named this place Eebenezer,” which means God has helped us this far.  It was a touchstone, a point of remembrance and gratitude.  It transformed the heartbreak into hope for the future.  It was a touchstone that called the people to be faithful to God’s call on their lives.  And it is a touchstone that continues to call people to God.

All Saints offers us this yearly touchstone, and as we think of the past and present we cannot neglect the future.  We are called to look at our lives and imagine what we leave behind.  All Saints asks, “What echo of love or courage or gratitude do we offer to someone in the future?”  We do this individually and as a community and we do it because we overcome our fears.  It is not an accident that in this season where hours of darkness creep into the daylight that we pause to celebrate All Hallows Eve, All Saints and All Souls.  Here in this season of harvest and darkness and preparation for winter, we humans name our fears.  We get them right out in front of us.  We dress as skeletons, ghosts, witches and goblins and maybe even masks of some presidential candidate.  We name our biggest fears in a big way.  Our fear of loss, our fear of grief, our fear of our own mortality and we do that together so we don’t have to do it alone.  We do it now so they don’t sneak up on us later…like at the office holiday party.  We name our fears so we can live our lives better.  All Saints Sunday asks, “What do you leave for others?”  What will a great-grandson find that reminds him of your strength?  What will that great-grand niece find that reminds her of your generosity?  What will they find that empowers them and inspires them so deeply…that when they need it most some little coin or watch will remind them they are filled with possibilities.  What ordinary object will become a relic… a campaign button, a family Bible or a note?  Each week we have this touchstone, this sacred space and time, where we can draw close into the image of God and the gift of one another from this community and so we must wonder what is our legacy?  Will someone find a coffee mug with a Wesley quote and think of our work in a way that mattered?  Will someone find safe space here and believe it mattered, that it brought them closer to God and to their best selves. That is up to us and how we live and what we live for those that follow.  How can we live so we leave a relic that matters?

What are some of the most special people and relics in your life?  What do they teach you?  Why do they empower or inspire you?

What is the relic you want to leave behind and what do you want it to mean to other people?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Getting Angry...for Good

A Sermon by Rev. Debra McKnight
Preached October 30, 2016
at Urban Abbey

And a leper came to him begging on his knees and said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”  Moved with anger, he stretched out his hand and said to him, “I do will; be clean.”  And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.  And, snorting with anger, he sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony against them.”  
Mark 1:40-45, Hendrick’s personal translation

Snorting….You might be looking at this scripture and saying to yourself, “I don’t remember snorting in the Bible.”  And you would be right.  You might also be looking at this translation and finding the phrase “moved by anger” strange…though perhaps not as strange as “snorting with anger.” This is not a typical translation of the Bible; it is a translation by Professor Obrey Hendricks.  It is not the work of a team of poets and scholars in deep deliberation but I share it because it raises the inescapable reality that our language is lacking.  The typical translation is “moved by or with compassion” rather than anger.  The Hendricks translation forces us to get in touch with anger and that, well, doesn’t seem very Christian.  We never see stained glass windows of a big angry Jesus.  And if we weren’t quite sure about the using the word anger in the place of compassion,….it a gets little more intense just a line later.  You see the phrase “snorting with anger”…well that is more typically translated into the moment where Jesus charges sternly…Jesus gives this man instructions make the offering their tradition commands.  When we read it we get the sense that Jesus uses a really strong voice there and points a finger…but the Greek manuscripts point us to a word that was also used to describe a horse snorting.  And sternly charging really seems different from snorting like a horse.  You can imagine this strong, powerful, beautiful animal snorting.  And if we were not sure about Jesus being angry… I don’t think snorting makes anyone more comfortable.

So now is the time where we have to pause and ask the question, “Why does Jesus being angry seem so strange?”  One explanation offered by scholars is a history where as Christianity ages it also becomes less comfortable with Jesus as human, with emotions, and I guess with the ability to snort..and not the kind of snorting that comes when someone tells a joke.  Language is powerful and we are part of a living tradition that seems to me to have this power of mutual shaping.  We shape and rediscover our tradition and our tradition shapes us, hopefully through a spirit of love and grace and courage and compassion and perhaps even anger.  So let’s pause and imagine that anger is not just ok but sacred.  Let’s pause and look at this compassion that can also have an edge that we name as anger.  

Compassion is nice - - nothing is wrong with compassion.  But compassion alone may not have the same energy or drivenness or edge that the word ‘anger’ invites.  If we were making a flyer about compassion, we might have a really pleasant photo of a person serving at a soup kitchen and we could point out how good everyone feels that people are being fed, particularly young people.  I imagine if we add this edge and energy that the word ‘anger’ suggests it would look more like a person serving at a soup kitchen and angry that the soup kitchen has to exist.  It might look like a relentless person; present, dependable, loving and kind…and perhaps so driven and passionate that they call every member of the city council, show up to every meeting, lobby every elected official from city and county to state and national government.  Maybe that is what moved by compassion/anger looks like.

When we look at why Jesus is angry here, we can probably assume that he is not angry at the man labeled ‘Leper.’  That seems pretty unreasonable.  And perhaps it helps us to understand this by putting it firmly in its context.  I think anytime we look at miracle stories, it becomes easy to say, “Wow, that seems crazy…I am pretty much done with this story and the whole Bible.”  Which, you might expect, I have a bias here, but I just don’t think that is a workable solution.  You see, where we read about Jesus helping people walk that couldn’t or see when they couldn’t or stand upright or stop hemorrhaging…he is not the only one in town doing this work.  This work of healing is the work that belongs to the Temple.  It is a part of the religious leaders role.  Borg and Crossan point to primary sources where people have offered testimony about their healing.  It would be like an ancient YELP review…“I can see again thanks to the great priest at the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem.”  Or “I walked again thanks to the great priests working for Minerva” or “the people at Zeus’s temple really rocked my world and cured my leprosy.”  Healing is happening in the Bible and in the world that surrounds it and just because we don’t understand the body or science or most anything in the same way does not mean we should assume ancient people are stupid or foolish.  People are naming lived experiences and I imagine one thing that may not have changed…good reviews are probably hard to come by.  People cannot run around proclaiming that they have been healed when their skin looks like they rolled in a bed of poison ivy or shout how they can see when they can’t..people are going to notice.  So here we have Jesus bringing the healing out of the Temple and into the streets.   He didn’t ask for an insurance card or a check for a co-pay; no paperwork has been filled out and the HIPA statement has not been signed;  he has just gone and done it.  And then he sends the man with leprosy into the hospital to pay a bill that does not exist.  He sends him to make the offering according to custom.

The Temple had the responsibility for healing and it had the responsibility for public health.  A label of Leper was no small matter; it could be assigned to someone with a contagious disease…and while this seems hard we could liken it to the containment of ebola patients in our recent past.  The thing is this label could be easily misplaced and attached to someone without a communicable skin disease…like eczema.  The reality of this label is hard.   It required a total exit from the community; it meant declaring yourself as you walked in public as someone unclean, wearing torn clothes and being treated pretty terribly by the fearful public.  This is where Jesus gets angry - a man can be healed and brought back into relationship and the religious leaders charged with this task have failed.  Jesus could have perhaps healed and left everything on the down low but no, he sends the man back to prove a point.

When Jesus gets angry, it is for this man suffering on the outside, labeled and limited.  Jesus does not get angry when people don't know how important he is, he never says, “Bow down” or “Confess me as your Lord and Savor.”  He does not get hurt or bruised by insults.  He has some intense moments and he doesn’t snort once when questioned by Pilate or when his childhood community  is trying to run him off a cliff.  He saves his anger for the mistreatment of others.  He loves so much he snorts.

Marge Piercy offers us poetry about a Just Anger.

A good anger acted upon
is beautiful as lightning
and swift with power.

A good anger swallowed,
a good anger swallowed
clots the blood to slime.

So what makes us angry?  What gets you mad enough to snort?  What gets your heart racing?  Perhaps we don’t use the label of Leper too much anymore but we do have other labels that hold power and keep people boxed in.  We can see this in the difference between the use of labels like ‘illegal alien’ or ‘undocumented worker.’  We can see it when we use the word ‘entitlements’ to talk about government support for people living in poverty but not when we talk about government support of big corporations.   We can see it in race and class and gender.  When people step out of their boxes or the boxes that we like them to stay in, we have plenty of words to help put people back in place.  If a man is too feminine we might say, “You throw like a girl.”  We might call him Nancy or fairy or wimp or some other words…one of which a Presidential Candidate has been caught tossing around.  We have words for women like ‘chick’ or ‘doll’ that reinforce a small place and not much brain power.  When a woman steps out of the box we might put her in her place by saying she is too aggressive or nasty or a word that rhymes with ‘Witch.’  These words are complicated to unravel and change.  They require constant, deliberate intention when we hear them.  It requires us to look at who we are and ask why people use the labels they use and the impact words have on how we see one another.

These labels make me angry.  In 2002 and 2003 I worked on a graduate research project about “Heterosexist Language in the Secondary School Climate”.  A lot, thank God, has changed in the years since.  At the time an anti-LGBTQ slur or insult was so common some researchers estimated it could be heard in a school every five seconds. When I interviewed young LGBTQ people (most of whom would not have been comfortable with the word for the time and place you can imagine the Q as questioning) about the school environment, they seemed to forgive this language.  They often used it and named gratitude for a few safe people along the way.  Listening I was always struck by the notion that these young people expected so little of their school and their teachers and their classmates.  The phrase “That’s so GAY” was peppered through the vernacular; students and even teachers often said it without even thinking about it.  When I asked about teacher intervention, one young person said, “At least I knew I wasn’t hated by everybody.”  So I tired an experiment in the classroom (of course I was only a substitute teacher… heading to seminary in the fall so I didn’t have much to lose).  The first time I heard the phrase, “That’s so Gay!”  I asked questions, invited brief conversation about the phrase and then I named my new expectation for our hour of class…I expected we could come up with more creative expressions that didn’t use a whole group of people as an insult.  I gave them a three strikes and you are out policy….like out to the office.  The first time I sent a student to the office for repeated use…well, it didn’t go well.  The Principal wondered why I had sent the student…in front of the student.  And while that wasn’t the first response I had dreamed of it was the later responses from curious administrators that mattered.  I even had a chance to share my research, which certainly impressed me, since it would have been easy for the school to just hire a different sub.  It was a small moment, among many that were bubbling up in our culture and raising questions and opening doors for new trainings about how a school climate could and should be safe for and empower every student.

This was a good anger.  I have had my share of not so good anger…anger that was for me or about me….anger about someone else’s advancement or success…anger at a person cutting in line or interrupting during a meeting.  Anger at the mistreatment of my ego rather than the mistreatment of others.  It can be hard to harness this driver, this passion, this hurt in ways that make something beautiful and powerful.  It is easier to get caught up in Perhaps that is the miracle we should be looking toward and seeking out.  Perhaps we can listen when we get angry and find what pushes us to make something good with our edgy compassion.  Perhaps we need to snort a little when people in power don’t do what they need to do to make the world a place that cares for everyone.   What makes you angry?  What makes that good?  Let’s get angry for good.