We live at a time where our collective diversity and eccentricity is all the more apparent and the same is simultaneously true of pressures to conform and homogenize. We live in a time where the voice of anyone could make a difference, and even so we still often choose to listen to the voice that represents status quo. We need a prophet.
- The prophet is a one who sees differently. The prophet is in touch with reality bigger than one cultures groupthink and is able to see blind spots.
- The prophet is not conservative or liberal or only a descendant of one tribe or tradition. Prophets can arise from anywhere and speak into any situation.
- The prophet has two roles, both construction and deconstruction:
- 1) Inspiring vision and identity with the courage to live it out.
- 2) Being a counterpoint to call out blindspots of the masses.
- The prophet is not afraid of confrontation, nor is it her chief aim. Confrontation is a means to invite others to live more fully, authentically, justly. Confrontation is a part of our own healing process.
- The prophet is not one who necessarily predicts the future, but the prophet does paint a picture of what could be based upon current actions or a transformed collective.
- The prophet is not wooed by privilege and cannot be bribed, because the prophet is deeply committed to truth, beauty, justice and love.
- The prophet may be commonly seen as a heretic, because hard truth boldly spoken can make us uncomfortable.
- The prophet may be hated on all sides, and could save us all. The prophet could wake us up to live like life is real.
- The prophet doesn't work or act for personal gain or to be liked, the prophet lives to see the world be transformed.
For churches, companies and countries, what we really need is a prophetic voice to help us see, hear and imagine differently. When squelching dissent or creating conformity is our aim, there is great efficiency and also great risk. We risk missing out on what is truly possible by embracing the voice of the one who challenges the status quo. We risk destroying ourselves in our misguided self-preservation. We risk abuses of power, corruption, inaction and self-righteousness. So instead of choosing that, let's choose to recognize the prophetic in our situation. Let us have eyes to see and ears to hear.
The prophet is speaking. Will we listen?