The False Idol of Safety


We're building walls, closing doors, saying no because we must protect, protect, protect. Our safety is number one so we lock the doors and throw away the keys. We're afraid for our lives and that fear drives our very way of relating to humanity. Fear drives our decisions. We don't want to get hurt or suffer loss so we guard- guard hearts, guard airports, guard boarders, guard homes. Fear has become our way

When Harriet Tubman guided slaves into freedom she was not safe. As a slave, Tubman was beaten and whipped and survived a traumatic head wound from an irate slave owner. She knew well the violence and punishment awaiting her if she was caught but she followed love underground. 

Love is not safe. Love sneaks through dark tunnels in the dead of night, love abandons all proclivity toward apathy, love risks all. 

When Martin Luther King Jr led the struggle against segregation, when he marched and boycotted and preached and organized and protested and resisted he was not safe. He was assassinated because he followed love all the way into the streets of systemic racism. 

Love is not safe. Love marches from Selma to Montgomery, love abandons all proclivity toward apathy, love risks all. 

When Malala Yousafzai spoke out against the Taliban and resisted bans on education for girls she was not safe. She was shot in the head in an attempted assassination because she followed love onto the bus and into the schools. 

Love is not safe. Love wields words like a sword into the hearts of calloused terrorist soldiers, love abandons all proclivity toward apathy, love risks all. 

When Jesus stormed through the temple shouting at the moneychangers and turning over their tables he was not safe. He was nailed to a cross and hung there to die as punishment for his political, social and spiritual activism. 

Love is not safe. Love upends oppressive systems and subverts the status quo of the day all the way to crucifixion. Love abandons all proclivity toward apathy, love risks all. 

Fear is our way, but Jesus said, "I am the way," and Jesus was love: risky, bold, unabashed, fearless, lionhearted, audacious, intrepid love. 

We think we're fighting for safety but the paradox is this: Love is the most dangerous thing and we're never in more danger than when we choose fear over love. Love is breaking apart and giving a piece of ourselves away. Love is holy brokenness.

Hear me: we'll never be whole if we never break completely apart. This is the paradox of our humanity. We weren't even created to be safe. It was never our purpose. We were created to break apart and give ourselves away and there be found completely whole. 

Loving our human family means that we risk everything but that risk is the only real way to be okay. The only true death, the death of our soul, comes when we choose the perception of personal safety over the wellbeing of the planet. 

We're never in greater peril than when out of fear we build walls that divide the human race. 

We've bowed down to safety and worshipped it as god. The ruler of all is love and love always risks everything; love marches into the streets and gives itself away. 

If safety is what we seek then we'll only find more peril but if we risk it all in love, there we'll find the promised land. 

Kate Martin1 Comment