Implicit, Covert, Subversive — Adjectives you might not initially associate with Christianity.
But look again. What do you see? And perhaps the better question is, What DON’T you see? Because authenticity in faith calls for a deeper approach. I think it always does.
What is beneath the surface, or first impression, stays truer and lasts longer.
And that’s what Jesus was all about in his teachings. We are to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). But salt is not the food. We are to be leaven for the bread (Matthew 13:33). But the leaven is not the whole bread.
We don’t even see these ingredients once they are applied and mixed in.
Even Jesus’ followers eventually reflected the importance of the inner, hidden life in their writings to the early church: Saint Paul wrote, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
“The Gospel tells us that we must first find our power and freedom within; then we’ll know what to do externally” (Richard Rohr, p.118 On The Threshold of Transformation).
How does awareness of the subtle affect our presence and influence in the public? As brazen, power brokers using all the overt means of money, media and culture to be in everyone’s face? To sensationalize the message and shock-and-awe those with whom and to whom we relate, in the love of Christ?
In considering the oft quoted text by social justice advocates from the prophet Micah – “…do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” (6:8), how much stock do we place on the last part of that verse?
What don’t we see here? What do we expect in following the Way?