jesterLast Sunday, Pastor Sean described a jester’s hat to the children. “Do you know what comic book character wears one of these?”  Of course, the answer is Harley Quin. That’s the part that he expected at least someone in the congregation to know.  But then he asked the more important question.  Do you know what the jester did in addition to making the king laugh?

When we talk about jesters today, we talk about tumbling, prat falls and jokes.  We talk about ribald or slapstick humor. What we recollect is the fool.  But jesters played a second role.

The jester was one of the few members of the court who could criticize the king. The king, a man of power and wealth, intimidated the majority of people who wanted to curry his favor. Say something mildly critical and you might not get that position or business deal you so badly want. But the jester could get by with it.

If you’ve learned anything about Sean in reading my posts, you know this had to be more than a history lesson.  Sure, Sean loves to talk history but if he’s going to discuss it in front of the congregation, he wants us to apply it. He challenged us all to stand up to the powerful when they make mistakes.  He reminded us that as committed Christians it is our job to stand up and speak out.

Right now, it isn’t so much that I can’t see the importance. I can.  Believe me.  But when and where should I stand up?  There are the changes in healthcare that will negatively impact so many.  There is the Executive Order about the Dakota Access Pipeline, the dismissal of numerous State Department workers (many of whom have apparently been “invited” back), the Immigration Ban and the attempt to gag every scientist and educator with a connection to the government. And the Wall.  Merciful Heaven, do not get me started on that wall.

It isn’t that I’m unwilling to criticize the king, but where to begin.  As you can imagine, I’ve been praying about all of this.  The message I’ve gotten in return initially seemed . . . vague. Look to my heart?

What are my passions?  The environment.  Immigration and our diverse nation. Literacy and education.

Not that those are the only things that matter, but this jester only has so much energy. Hopefully she will remember to keep her ears open not only for what needs to be commented on but also for those gentle nudges from on high.