The death of George Floyd in police restraint rightly horrified millions, and pointed with stunning clarity the need for change.
For a little while, there, it looked like people were coming together. And then it blew apart, in an orgy of destruction, thievery, and violence directed mainly against police, but also toward anyone brave enough to try to stand up to the thugs.
The Santa Monica Music Center, which since 1972 had provided lessons and instruments to unerprivileged kids, was ransacked and wrecked.
A landmark Minneapolis restaurant, set to reopen in just days, after the coronavirus closure, was burned to the ground, and won't be rebuilt.
A retired police officer in St. Louis, working as a security guard, was murered when the pawn shop he was defending was looted. The officer happened to be black.
The popular narrative is that the peaceful protestors and the rioters are different, that they are somehow identifiable groups...and for some that's certainly true.
But there are many who in the day stand in Sonshine, and who choose to remain for the pagan bacchanals of darkness.
Devotion to Christ and a greedy thirst for destruction coexist in every heart. We all carry the mark of Cain.
Don't scoff...maybe you never robbed a liquor store or set fire to someone's car, but did you ever feel hurt by something your spouse said, and then planned and delivered a scathing comeback that left him or her white-faced and shocked?
Did you ever premeditate the attempted murder of a soul you'd promised to love and cherish?
A lot of commercials during the COVID thing said, "We're all in this together!" It's a nice thought, and a good way to sell face masks.
Well, we're all in this together, too.
Racism and Antifa and abortion are horrible, but they are symptoms of an illness we've allowed into our world through acquiesence and ignorance and ennui and a perceived guilt for somehow not being sensitive enough, not being tolerant enough.
Not tolerant enough...odd, that, because the illness is intolerance of God.
We've pushed Him away, tired of His rules, thinking His commandments unfair because they cramp some folks' style.
No commandment is safe. Those who break them are often lauded, and criticim of these worthies earns the critic profane censure (and a host of social media unfollows).
And now, having given in to our darker nature, here we are. It will be a long road back even to that imperfect place we were before.
The riots will be the remembered legacy, as they were in Watts and Detroit and Liberty City and Ferguson. No one will recall the peaceful protests except those who took part, and those memories will fade.
Commissions will be formed, some new laws will be enacted limiting police use of force, qualified immunity may go away. Reparations will be added to a House bill, and quietly removed in committee.
And nothing will change, because you can't legislate the generation of love.
Only time and peace and intention and grace can do that, and those are gone from this place, sent sadly away by our darker angels.
They have a right to feel neglected;
we surely should have listened more,
but the past can't be corrected
by the burning of my neighbour's store.
and there are things we need to change,
but that does not excuse the vandal,
even fueled by hopeless rage,
for he is dragging others down
to that dark and limbic place
where the good intentions drown
so very far from chance of grace.
I fear that we will not be quit
of this, until the torches are unlit.
Music from The King, with In The Ghetto.
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.