Economy of Attention

Pastor Marvin Arnpriester

The Smithsonian magazine recently featured an article titled “Drawing Fire.” Author Ron Rosenbaum began the article, “Fueled by outrage and armed with an artist’s pen, journalist and activist Molly Crabapple fights for justice in the Middle East and closer to home.”

The article tells of her willingness to brave difficult situations to highlight people in difficult and dangerous situations who are struggling for human rights and dignity. She illustrates with sketches that tell the human story. She is currently seeking to tell the story of Syrian refugees and raise funds to ease their plight. The author sums up Crabapple’s impact in this insightful statement, “… it has to do with the economy of attention …”

I have been reflecting on this matter of attention during Lent. It is so easy to try multi-tasking as I sit in my chair, listening to the news or a sports program while trying to read a book, sensitive to the reality my phone may ding with an important message at any time. My wife may wish to visit with me about something. And our dog may want some attention. I need to wisely focus my attention on that which is really most important in the moment in which I find myself. I confess I do not always do that in my relationship with God and others.

Lent invites us to an economy of attention on the reality of God’s love revealed in the life and death of Jesus Christ to let us know there is no power on earth stronger than the love of God. Charles Wesley put it this way, “O Love divine, what hast thou done! The immortal God hath died for me! The Father’s co-eternal Son bore all my sins upon the tree. The immortal God for me hath died; My Lord, my Love, is crucified!”

I invite you to join me in a refocused economy of attention on the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for you and me.