They look like a disturbing bird. Like some kind of mutant turkey. They prefer the leftovers from the road-kill cafe. It is their feasting table. They swoop in to pick apart the carcass of what’s left in the wake of death and brokenness.
The truth is: I live in a vulture culture.
My friend @MikeFoster writes about this phenomenon in his book: Gracenomics. He points out what we’ve all noticed that is at play in the human realm. This tendency to swoop in and pick apart people’s brokenness or mistakes. Watch any news outlet or celebrity driven show and you’ll see it on display. It’s the highlights of our vulture culture, that swoops on who ever seems bent, bruised or bleeding at this moment. It’s what fuels online rants and sells our papers.
It’s just as prevalent amidst the cubicles of your local office building, filling the hallways at your local school and it floats across the airwaves of most radio stations. The real question becomes: does it also fill the pews at our church’s? The broken and bruised get the attention in a vulture culture. Too bad, we are all broken. In our veneer covered lives, we buff up and shine up, in order to manage our image. But sooner or later the gig is up and our brokenness, failures, mistakes, poor decisions, cracks in our character and bruises begin to shine through.
In a vulture culture – that’s bad news and people begin to swoop in.
It’s about society’s tendency to feast on humiliation. We build people up only to tear them down. It has become a spectator sport of its own. The vulture culture feasts on our humanity and prevents us from seeing each other as equal members of the human race. – Mike Foster
So, why is it that we like to swoop?
Is it because, like in Jr. High – we bought the lie: that when we put down others we are somehow better than? That when we push down others, we are somehow elevated? It is this mirage that we have a propensity to propagate.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. – Mother Teresa
Yet – there is ONE who displays and calls his followers to a different kind of culture, a different way of living. Not one with a swoop tendency, but one with a scoop tendency. A kind of living that says, “I’ll come alongside someone who is broken, hurting and help them. Scoops them up with grace, picks them up with encouragement, props them up through mercy.
I have a dream that more and more Jesus followers can model this other way.
So, today – may you be freed to come alongside some that might be broken or hurting. May you be prompted to extend a loving hand and heart.
“People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.” -John Harrison
Who is someone in your life that has come alongside you in your time of need? They’ve picked you up and encouraged/helped you…have you reminded them & thanked them for their kindness? Who needs you to come alongside them now?