Most of us will not notice the existence of gravity until normal human beings like me try to go for a slam dunk. Yup, the problem is not me. It’s the hoop being too tall and gravity being too strong. You can ignore the existence of gravity and deny its existence. But please do not jump off any building singing, “I believe I can fly.”
Scientists have long discussed the existence of the ultimate gravity pull – the black hole. I do not think the scientists took out a Faber-Castell color chart and decided that the hole is black in color, but it is because nothing can go past it, not even light and not be sucked away into the infinite abyss and crushed. Truth be told, the black hole is still a theoretical existence since its existence is “proven” through the unobservable nature of a region in space.
I have so far presented gravity in a seemingly negative light. Let me balance that. If gravity did not exist, you and I would not be here. We will be floating away into the unknown galaxy and probably will not survive very long. Without gravity, our planet would also spin uncontrollably through space and probably have crashed into another planet by now.
Scientists have found ways to use gravitational forces to our advantage. For example, spacecraft traveling on long exploration journeys use the gravitational forces of various planets to propel them forward and catapult them ahead.
Ok, enough of physics and space exploration. The black hole has also been used to describe cultural blindspots. For example, the church has many black hole issues; as the name implies, we cannot see it. But, if we pay close attention, we will see the effect these black hole issues have on the things around it, just like the black hole in space. So what do we do when we start noticing the existence of black hole cultural issues?
I appreciate those space scientists’ approach; instead of trying to avoid those gravitational forces, they flow along with them and use them to catapult the spacecraft ahead, saving time and fuel.
The church can feel crushed and defeated by those cultural black holes or ride on them and move ahead in growth. I believe these issues, when they show up, draw the attention of the entire church. You can defend, hide, ignore, or start having those hard conversations and work through them. If the church is willing to “wash each other’s feet” while working through these issues, it will grow closer to what Christ would have them be. The church may not be the same after the conversations. It may suffer through a period of time, but it will represent Christ better to the community around it.
The world is waiting for an authentic representation of the church they read about from the Scripture. It is time for the church to step out from its comfort zone, its traditional pride and baggage and grows into who it was created to be.