This time of year- when the candidates are saying what we want to hear and are speaking to issues that concern us- is the saddest time for me. It goes to tell me that my issues and my hurt are known, but ignored. Only spoken of to get my attention, my contributions, my vote and not to have the issues resolved.
I often played this game with my dogs. We'd play catch until she was tired. I then would wave the ball in front of her...touch her nose with it...bounce it so close to her trying to get her to get up and run after it one last time. So much teasing on my part not for her sake, but for my pleasure. I wanted to continue to play catch even after she was too tired, after she was telling me that play had become work...had become hurtful. Yet, I was still there with the ball.
The politicians have my issue in hand. They have studied it and are willing to speak it out of both sides of their mouths, but only for their pleasure. My hurt and fatigue with the issues isn't a concern of theirs. They want my attention, my finances, my vote, and not my well being. Chase it once again, Dave...
Systemic racism is known by them, but they only speak of it in a way that provided something for them and not sincerely to resolve the issue. They all wave the ball in front of me. None seem to care that I'm tired. Vote for me once more...I'll fix it this time...
It is hard to imagine having agents of the government (police, ICE, FBI, etc.) at the front door to take away an entire family. I cannot imagine them at my door to take me and mine away to captivity. Who do I call for help? Will my neighbors help? Who will help right this injustice?
That is what happened to Japanese Americans. They aren't the only group to be illegally colonized/captured/incarcerated by this government...just one of the most recent. So, it is not surprising that they are being neighbors to others that are likewise having their freedom taken. They must remember the feelings of helplessness and loneliness, wondering, 'who will help right this injustice.
As compassion seems in short supply, we must stand for the voiceless. We must show the love of our Lord. We must call out the wrongs and make things right. Silence is not a virtue in these cases. In these cases, our silence is consent.
I am not surprised that this is happening. Nor am I surprised that not all humans feel the pain of the abused and incarcerated.
I am informed now of a reason for my pain. It isn't about me! The comfort that I receive is so that I can abundantly comfort others.
I got it. Thank you Lord.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
As I listened to this American history essay, my mind kept jumping in two opposite directions. The first was a sad realization of where I was and who I was. The history of this nation demonstrates its distain for me and those like me. My sadness was accompanied by surprise that I'd made it this far in life. It also informed much of the treatment I'd received here, as I erroneously assumed I was the cause of all my problems. The 'invisible hand' had been at work against me in ways I'd not seen/known. Now, my ever present question is 'which problem was me, and which was not'?
The second set of thoughts were directed towards my non-Black friends. How will they respond to this? Will they become offended, and then turn obviously, outwardly, aggressively against me? Will they deny the truth of this and thus attempt to undermine it, discredit it? Will this revelation make my life more difficult? Or, will they accept the truth and work with me to help mitigate, and undo the harm that has now been exposed?
This scripture seems to display God's heart regarding those made in His image and likeness:
Deuteronomy 1512 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
Our nation has not walked in that light, however, it isn't too late.
I wish I could say that I'm surprised by this, but sadly its par for the course. I've seen too much of the church...too many of the huddled masses...too many shut doors to expect anything less. I recently heard an Army vet from the Iraq war tell how much they respected the enemy, and how little they respected some on 'our side'.
When pushed, she said the enemy was out in the streets, risking their life for what they believed, while 'our side' was behind keyboards (sic) and not willing to engage. So, if we don't engage in the streets, and the enemy is...and our kids are in the streets... No surprise.
(I apologize for this long link...)
This past weekend we studied 1 Corinthians 8-16. We read how Paul implored us to value the conscience of others over our conscience, and even over our own rights. That is, even if we had the right to do something, if that something interfered with another coming to salvation, we should put that right down.
We are now seeing how an idea that is held by many, and epitomized in a single person is beginning to cause many to sin. Those with opposing ideas are more and more frequently resorting to violence to support, to insist on, to claim their 'right'. This is so contrary to what the body of Christ has been called 'up' to.
Maybe this is not the time to demand our 'right'. It could very well be the time to be silent, to pray, to become again familiar with the sin that is in us. To acknowledge that we could be wrong. Lets reassess our goal- which should be to win others to Christ.
I watched 10 seconds of this without sound, then clicked away. I saw it again later, but again I could only watch 10 seconds without sound. The third time, the transcript of what was being said was presented, but, I could not watch anymore.
I dared not turn on the sound. My stomach turned.
How do guys like this pass the psychological stability tests? Who authorizes giving them weapons? Why are they so angry? I couldn't imagine this happening to a white couple (married or not), but my focus went to the children. Who could do this to ANY child?
Oh, wait, 'we' recently separated a 4 month old child from her mom at 'our' southern border. Who could? We could! They represent us! When we proudly declare our citizenship, we are owning this behavior.
Lord, come quickly.