Sometimes Jesus seems like he’s a Marvel superhero. He battles and drowns demons. He heals the sick with a touch or with a word. He walks on water. He commands a storm to stop blowing. He never loses! He seems too big to fail. It’s surprising—no, shocking—it’s shocking to see him stumble, to see his vulnerability beneath all that power, to realize that he is not entirely invincible.
This photograph was taken in the House Chamber of the US Capitol by Tom Williams of CQ Roll Call on January 6, 2021. We see US Representative Susan Wild of Pennsylvania lying on her back in an aisle of the gallery as a mob of Trump supporters tried to break into the room. She looks terrified, one hand on her heart, another gripping the hand of her colleague, Jason Crow of Colorado. Maybe Congresswoman Wild in her fall to the floor is contemplating her own vulnerability.
We’ve all seen the images from the January 6 Capitol riot. They’ve been all over the news these last few months. We saw the barriers torn down; police overwhelmed and beaten; windows broken and doors demolished; senators, representatives, and the vice president rushed off to safety moments before being overtaken by the mob. We saw the US Capitol building under siege. We saw our democracy stumble.
There are times that it may seem to us that our institutions, our government, and our nation are simply too big to fail. But if our democracy can stumble, it can fall. If it can fall, it can fail—it is not entirely invincible.
Let us pray:
Jesus, you know what it is to be a great one who falls. Teach us that we are never too big to fail. Amen.
Jesus the Imagination
Thoughts and dreams, musings and meditations