July 9: Speech

“Speak your piece, whether they listen or not.”
God’s words to Ezekiel, from Ezekiel 2:8-3:11

Ezekiel’s task was to take God’s word to those exiled in Babylonia and to the people of Israel. Supposedly eating a rolled-up scroll which contained words of grief with wails and groans, Ezekiel was ordered to speak to the people of Israel even though they would not listen, as they had also failed to listen to God. All of them were stubborn and defiant. He was to speak to them, whether they paid attention or not because he was as stubborn and tough as them.

That conundrum resonates today. Our politically divided country hardly speaks the same language. People of color and those with a non-Christian identity are demonized and held in contempt. The Trump theme of “Make America Great Again” is really code for “Make America White Again.”

The power of speech is an amazing thing. One-on-one, or from the platform, speech can inspire and transform people. Unfortunately, misinformation and outright lies, repeated often enough, can support pre-conceived notions and elect a president. I feel I’m living in a parallel universe to those who support the policies and utterances of this embarrassing and dangerous man.

Ezekiel proclaimed his hope for the renewal of life of the nation. Hope is not a strategy but it can be the beginning of a process of civility and caring that has been the very definition of this great nation for nearly 250 years. The power of speech will be sorely tested.

by Ron Smith
Photo credit: “Battle Born Brigade” at a Reno 1868 FC home game,
2018, Kristen Marshall

As you go about your day, keep your eyes open.
What does the power of “Speech” look like to you? 
Post your picture with #reno150 on any social media site.

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