Indifference

“Indifference” by G.A. Studdert Kennedy:

When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by.
They would not hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do,’
And still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary.

We could easily replace Birmingham with Chicago. Our persecution of Jesus is subtle. We hurt our Lord not by an explicit betrayal or profanation, but rather by ignoring him. We have faith, but we live as if God does not exist.

We are not necessarily intentional in our practical atheism. Indifference is fostered by our society. We live in an age of "historical dislocation," as Henri Nouwen once wrote. We do not experience continuity with the past and we doubt whether the future will be worthwhile. The only moment that is valuable is the here and now. We do not experience joy or anxiety, but rather apathy and boredom.

The Stations of the Cross are helpful in breaking us from the malaise. We are given a connection to the past and hope for the future as we recall the Resurrection. If you find yourself indifferent to our Lord, try praying the Stations.

back to top