A friend from my Army days hails from New Mexico. He used to mock ethnic stereotypes by adopting a hyper-Spanglish accent that sounded like a white guy trying to sound barrio.
One of my favorite such phrases was when he was annoyed:
Leaf me alone, esay.
It came to mind when I read John 6:15 this morning:
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:15 ESV)
Jesus had just fed a large crowd, and they were down for some bread and circuses.
So Jesus, sent into the world to save it, temporarily steps away from its tumult to pray, turning his back on the crowd in a prophetic enactment of leaf me alone, esay.
The ancient prophets, picked by God to speak in tumultuous times, sometimes reached a limit at which words, even divinely supplied words, seemed useless or even counterproductive.
The faithful have vanished from the earth, no mortal is just! They all lie in wait to shed blood, each one ensnares the other. Their hands succeed at evil; the prince makes demands, The judge is bought for a price, the powerful speak as they please. The best of them is like a brier, the most honest like a thorn hedge. The day announced by your sentinels! Your punishment has come; now is the time of your confusion. Put no faith in a friend, do not trust a companion; With her who lies in your embrace watch what you say. (Micah 7:2-5 NAB)
Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time. (Amos 5:13, NRSV)
My gut instinct is that we are in an evil time. Of course I could be wrong. But I sense the church (at least here in the U.S.) in a crazy making situation where people want it to stay out of their business on the one hand but fault it for not coming up with “statements” on this, that and the other thing on the other hand. People want a theocracy but only for their particular issues. They will “come by force to make us regents” but only with their hands up our backs as their puppets.
Hence we hear about the Benedict Option, which might be one expression of leaf me alone, esay. To save our words for God and for those already drawn to him, ignoring all the social media about 10 Things the Church MUST do to attract absolutely everybody all the time.
In Elijah’s day, the crowd was hunting down and killing the prophets. Godly people hid them in caves to weather the persecution and survive as God’s witnesses for a better day.