A Tale of Two Bathroom Stalls


See something, say something.

After the attacks of September 11, the Department of Homeland Security, those four words seemed to be everywhere.  See something, say something.  This was to have people be on alert for seeing an unattended package in an airport terminal or to call out someone who looked suspicious.  I don’t know if this actually helped make things safer but I do know that unfortunately many innocent people were called out, usually because of the color of their skin, the way they were dressed, or the language they spoke.  Twenty-one years later, I still hear and see those words.  

See something, say something.  

Yesterday morning those words came back to me in two bathroom stalls.  

The first was at a truck stop bathroom on my way to Columbus for a UCC denominational meeting.  As I walked into one of the stalls in the men’s room, on the toilet paper dispenser I saw scratched (not written, scratched…so someone had to take some serious time to do this) “Hitler was right.”  It just made me sick to see that.  As I was leaving the stall, I went to take a photo of what was scratched but apparently moved the camera too quickly (hence the blurry photo below).  I initially thought about just ignoring the whole thing and heading to my car but I decided instead that I had seen something unjust and I needed to say something.  So I went to the registers and told one of the women working there.  She got quite upset about how awful it was and she called her manager up and asked if he would go in the men’s room to cover it up.  She said a few other things I won’t print here.  As I left, one of the people behind me in line thanked me for speaking up.  

See something, say something.  

Later in the morning, at the church where my meeting was, I saw something quite different in one of the bathroom stalls.  A poster about saving water and a link to donate to an organization providing clean, running water to people in Appalachia.  Not a message of hate, but instead a message about care, love, respect, and basic human rights. This was followed by other signs throughout the church emphasizing how all were welcome in that place.  It was beautiful.  

Two bathroom stalls.  Two very different messages.  

Later in the day, the keynote speaker at the conference was speaking about our call to prophetic witness and she actually said the same thing when she was sharing about the  myriad of injustices in the world…  

See something…say something.  

I think the Spirit is saying something.  When we see injustice…we need to say (and do) something of justice.  That’s the Jesus model and the model of the prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah and the model for each of us.  So, when you see something unjust…say something.  When you hear someone say something unjust… say something.  

See something…say something

Categories: ProphetTags: , , , ,

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