I feel guilty about my first post.
I feel guilty that I did not fall back on the hope of God to make a change.
I feel sorry for despairing that my husband and children would never get to live the one life I live alone instead of looking to the word of God and leaving the message on a high note. That is what I’m trying to do, after all, be an encouragement.
I feel guilty because I was tired. Thank God for sleep, “Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” (Shakespeare’s Macbeth)
While I am grateful for the sleep, I am also deeply disturbed by the situation that has caused so many to be weary. Though thankful for the rest, I think about what it means to never able to sleep off the cause of the frustration. What if I wore an invitation to discrimination on my skin. Not that my skin would be wrong but that some would perceive something so necessary to my survival as a threat. I read about a little boy last night from Ohio. He is 12 years old and trying to make money this summer by mowing people’s lawn and doing some landscaping. He was mowing one person’s yard and since there was no fence to distinguish the exact line of where one lawn ended, and the other started, he mowed some of the neighbor’s lawn. The owner of the home called the police on the 12-year-old black child. Why do people think it is an acceptable response to call the police on people of color – on children of color- for the most frivolous of reasons??? I’m glad the absurdity of this behavior is getting publicized with BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, Jogger Joe, and Pool Patrol Paula. This idea that whatever disagreement one might have with people of color should involve law enforcement needs to stop. It all goes back to people viewing dark skin as a weapon. Black and brown are perceived as dangerous because of their “dangerous” skin. I hope that people will begin to recognize how insane that is.
Now is not the time to be silent. My husband is concerned that if I publish segments like this one and the last one, people will be turned off. It will scare people away. My feeling is that these difficult conversations need to happen. My guilt at the publishing the last one came because I didn’t think about how this situation impacted my faith in any way other than the obvious one that God is no respecter of persons and that we are all His creation. So, I did a little digging to find out the messages that relate to this post.
I imagine it must grieve God to see people, who He created in His own image being mistreated. So starting with the old testament, Deuteronomy 10: 17-19 Illustrates how God commands us to treat all people.
17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
Moving to the new testament, Acts 10:34-35 The Apostle Peter explains that God does not favor one people over another.
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
In fact, James 2:9 cautions that if we show favoritism when God does not, we are sinning.
9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
Later on, Ephesians 2:14-18 talks about breaking down walls and creating one people in Christ since we must all come through Him for salvation.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Finally, Revelation 7:9-10 talks about the image of the future – all people of every nation coming together.
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
So I should not despair, I should not give up, and I should not be silent. My family and so many others depend on people standing up and calling out what is wrong with society. During this time when racist rhetoric and the spewing of all kinds of xenophobic hatred has been not only allowed but encouraged and championed by some of our leaders, it is time to speak out. It is time to resist. While none of this is new – just filmed, we can not let our country’s sentiments to slide backward again. All of the advancements of the first civil rights movement were destroyed with the rise of the KKK and Jim Crow laws. The advancements made in second civil rights movement of the 1960s is being chipped away at dizzying speed. We must not allow that to happen. Nowhere in the bible does it say that doing what is right is easy – however, it does say we must do what is right before the Lord. God’s law is the only law we must follow.
Martin Luther King Jr. recognized this when he wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in German at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers.” The problems plaguing our black, brown, and immigrant brothers and sisters is our own. Those children ripped from their parents’ arms should be treated as our own. When we do not stand up for each other, it is bound to come back to us.
Martin Niemöller, a German Protestant Pastor, and critic of Hitler, wrote this poem. If you change the categories, the substance is still relevant today:
First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.