I heard the news about Dr. Larycia Hawkin's forced administrative leave from Wheaton College. In case you haven't heard, Dr. Hawkins committed to wearing a hijab during advent to show solidarity with her Muslim sisters which are under attack.

Honestly, I only heard about the story because she was placed on leave and the subsequent social media backlash.

Wheaton College's official statement says she was placed on leave because of theological statements made, and you know what? That is probably true. Current Evangelical thinking draws a sharp line between those who are "saved" and those who are "lost."  If you are not Christian, you are "lost" and therefore it is really hard to see all people as connected or even as the same.  It makes statements of solidarity messy.

This I do know, when I heard about Dr. Larissa Hawkin's tangible demonstration of love for people who are suffering, I was moved. That her compassionate action resulted in disciplinary action simply brought a spotlight to both her act and the places where we let our theology trump love. It reminded me of Jesus' words, "You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” In many ways Dr. Hawkins is under the same criticism as the woman who broke an alabaster jar of perfume over Jesus's feet.

But that isn't even the most troubling thing to me about this.  The troubling thing is me. Because when I saw the photo of Dr. Hawkins, I knew I didn't have enough courage to do the same. And that makes me feel shame. 

So thank you Dr. Hawkins for moving compassionately. I doubt when you did so that you were aware God was about to turn on the floodlights. Please continue walking in love, even when it is shiny.


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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall