In keeping with my commitment to keep the Hubbell Pew apolitical, I will not repeat the political news I read this morning that brought me to this topic. Needless to say, we all understand the concept and we have all experienced suppression of the spirit. It can come from something as minor as a bit of bad economic news or something as serious as a terminal illness, but we face it day after day, week after day, and as children of God we are called to confront it, especially when we see it being used against others.
I think it no accident that Jesus came to live and walk among sinners, the sick and the lame, the poor, and the oppressed. They knew a lot about those in power, those in authority, those who felt superior, using the tools of suppression to deflate the spirit, especially against those who have enough burdens as it is. The tools include ridicule, exclusion, economic and physical slavery, and oppression. God came to bring those spirits comfort and explain God’s, not the world’s, realities in the beatitudes – “the first will be last, etc.”
As disciples we are called to confront the obvious and not so obvious attempts of those “who have” to clip the wings of those spirits that wish to soar. Suppression of the spirit comes in so many subtle ways – in our language, in our attitude, in our laws, and in our neglect. As we understand suppression of spirit from the receiving end, we need to be reminded that each of us has been on the giving end, as well. Whether consciously or not, we have been guilty of suppression, and as we first remove the “plank from our own eye”, we set an example for others who would follow our lead in obvious or not so obvious suppression.
We ask God to help us recognize it when we suppress (we seldom need help in feeling it when it happens to us) and to confront it, wherever we see it. We are all given spirits meant to soar into the arms of God. Ask God to help you loosen all of the restraints from spirit’s flight.