A black man dies in police custody, part of a city is looted and burned, threats on one side, hand-wringing on another, and it's enough to make you want to emigrate to Mars.
Can't we all just get along?
No, we can't. We never did, and we never will.
But it does not mean that we don't have to try, and as Christians, our mandate is very clear.
No, not to change society. You can't mandate bigotry into oblivion. Flags and slogans can't be legislated away, because they're of the psyche.
Not to make a public confession (if we're white) of 'white privilege', because it's a shibboleth...you can't know the meaning because you can't know the other side, what it feels like to be black...and no amount of reading books by black (or Asian, or Muslim, or whatever) authors can tell you.
That road just leads to the same old place...us and them. "Oh, those poor people."
We have to change our own hearts, which is a big enough job for an entire lifetime.
Quick, an experiment...how many times have you seen a photograph of someone involved in a crime, and said to yourself, "Yes, one of them. Of course."
The face is black, or it is white. The body wears a tank top or a police uniform.
But there's your reaction, and there you go.
It's like looking at a woman with lust in your heart; adultery's already happened.
And when you look with dismissal in your heart, you have murdered a soul.
We cannot presume to know
what happened on that day;
we see what the pictures show,
we hear what people say,
but you and I, we were not there,
and thus we cannnot judge,
but we cannot fail to care,
and must not begrudge
compassion for the ruined lives,
for those now bereft,
parents, children, friends, and wives,
whose joy has been eclipsed
by the darkling ignorance
of hatred, fear, and violence.
Music from Tom Lehrer, with National Brotherhood Week. The 'Sheriff Clarke' in the first stanza was Jim Clarke, sheriff of Dallas County, Alabama, in which Selma is located; Clarke gained noteriety by opposing civil rights protestors in Selma in the 1960s.
With the world having gone mad, it seems gauche to speak of my own problems, but suffice it to say that the situation has become unspeakable, with intractable pin and nausea, and vomiting and the runs to beat the band. Tumours like tennis balls in the neck and chest and abdomen, and they really do hurt. Could be worse. I could be slow, soft, and ugly.
I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!
Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.
This: "When you look with dismissal in your heart you have committed murder." You've nailed it, my friend!ReplyDelete
Anita, coming from you...whose social conciousness is truly awesome...these words of praise rock my world.Delete
I am so grateful!!!!!!!
"And when you look with dismissal in your heart, you have murdered a soul" oh so much yes! thank you for this convicting perspective. you gave words to my heart's cry from all we have seen this week and beyond. God bless.ReplyDelete
Mariel, thank you...and I'm so glad you found value here!Delete
Andrew, this is profound.ReplyDelete
Susan, thanks...I do generally try to stay in the shallow end of the pool, but I thin the world is kind of getting out of its depth.Delete
What a great blog! I especially liked the poem.ReplyDelete
Terri, thank you so much!Delete
Yes, yes. And yes again.ReplyDelete
Linda, thank you for this, and for being here. You're ever in my prayers.Delete
well spoken AndrewReplyDelete
Thank you, Annette!Delete
Such raw honesty, this is a very powerful post.ReplyDelete
Gwen, thanks...if there was ever a time for honesty, it's now.Delete
What a sad world we live in. But people like you show us there is always hope.ReplyDelete
Jan, wow...I am so honoured!Delete
All words so true Andrew. Only God can change a heart, and we must ask Him each situation at a time to show us His heart. My mind makes a judgement every time it sees any image at all. It is the nature of a wicked and deceitful heart in Jeremiah 17:9. Sometimes I think all these rainstorms are just God's tears.ReplyDelete
Mary, the Jeremiah passage is perfect...that the image of rainstorms being God's tear is just so lovely! Thank you for this.Delete
Very true and its a shame we still need to be saying this and that people can't get over such prejudices. Well written and thank youReplyDelete
Loretta, you're so right..that the message has to repeated, again and again, is just awful. Thank you so much for stopping by!Delete
We can't possibly know the full outrage and sorrow of the receivers of continued ignorance, but we can try. We can speak and write in support and love. Thank you for your honest words this week and every week. I pray you are more comfortable today.ReplyDelete
Suzette, you're so right...we can't know, but we also can't forget them.Delete
And thank you so much for your prayers. They mean the world.
Thank you Andrew! One day we'll all be free... "from every kindred, tongue, and nation".ReplyDelete
Tondra, beautifully said...we SHALL be free. Hold the vision!Delete
Yes, Andrew, yes. I used to be on a bully prevention team, a composit of three teachers and an administrator. I learned a lot about how it works, the bully circle, the bystanders not knowing what to do or how to do it, and the fear factor. I see it play out in the dynamics of what has played out in the last few days, The narrative needs to change on all levels, and it starts with me, conceptually, theoretically and literally.ReplyDelete
My dear Norma, this is a terrific addition, the bully circle. Thank you!Delete
The change does indeed have to happen, and it can only begin in our hearts.
What truly seems beyond my comprehension is how you keep showing up and encouraging us, when the pain and suffering you experience each day should be keeping you in a catatonic state, Andrew! I'm praying for our country and I'm praying for you! I hope both parties will sense God's calming presence in the midst of incredible injustice and pain!ReplyDelete
Beth, to be honest, right now I don't know how I do it, either! As I'm typing this reply I occasionally flinch back from the keyboard in a kind of pain and nausea I can't describe (be glad of that, hahaha).Delete
But it's worth it. Feels like God gave me a job, and I'll keep at it, especially now.
Thank you so much for your prayers; they mean more than I can say.
Andrew, yes and amen to all you have shared. I'm still finding my words in the midst of this world-gone-crazy. We definitely can't think "Us and Them." It's WE. We all stand or we all fall. I'm praying God moves in hearts.ReplyDelete
I'm praying for you and Barb, my friend.
Jeanne, you're absolutely right...it's WE. In all the ways in which we are similar, and in the ways in which we are different.Delete
We need to be both, together.
Thank you so much for your prayers!
Wow, Andrew, your words are powerful and convicting.ReplyDelete
Great-Granny-Grandma, thank you so much! I'm so glad you're here.Delete