On this Good Friday, I invite you, and strongly encourage you, to read the penetrating and difficult, humble and life-giving words of my friend and hero, Jeanne Bishop — “Going Back for Judas”.
This week I have had strep. As with so many over the past several months, our household has been through many various illnesses. Thus, we immediately went into quarantine mode. I was sent into isolation, forbidden to touch, getting close, sometimes even breathing. This illness would not spread!
And I felt the isolation — it hurt! I just wanted a hug!!! Longing for the comforting touch of my wife’s hand and the warmth of my children’s arms wrapped around me, I began to grieve for those who live under this alienating reality every day of their lives. The terminally ill. Those with chronic diseases. The shamed ones. The guilty. The condemned. As I reflected on the physical ways we isolate those we fear, I realized we also socially quarantine those we are afraid will spread whatever it is we desire to avoid. And I wondered how bad it must hurt them, how deeply they may just want, and need, a hug.
Jeanne Bishop realizes what it means to hug those we fear and isolate and turn away from. She has gone back for Judas. Will we?
Today, Good Friday, is about the power of forgiveness. A love that heals through brokenness. A power that confronts death and conquers evil. A going back for Judas. It’s about the great big bear hug that is the Cross. The warmest, most life-giving, alienation-defying embrace that all of us need and desire.
One way — out of so, so many that we often ignore and resist — that we might hug those in need of a respite from their social isolation is through a Fair Chance Hiring Policy. Seriously. An embrace that says we see you, we don’t need to fear you, we want you close to us — as our employees and our co-workers and our fellow productive community members. A word of forgiveness and new beginnings for those who have been cast aside and alienated in ways the rest of us can never fully understand. A great big bear hug of a fair chance in the process to get a job.
Sign our petition for a Fair Chance Hiring Policy for Waco-McLennan County.
Together, let’s go back for Judas. As we do, we might just find the hug we need, not just Judas.