I’m Ashamed of Us
Not my usual “raindrops on roses” blog title, is it? There’s a reason. My blog on Monday, and blogs since then, have been very family-and-self-minded. My motives were pure in that I hoped to exemplify the blessings of enjoying God’s creation, family and family fun. As well, desiring to encourage others to slow down or to stop and be still so we can hear and see God’s goodness and mercy in full array. Seriously, our family uses that time to shut out the world and focus on us and Him.
But, that’s part of why I’m ashamed. My granddaughter, an avid Instagram follower and poster, on Wednesday, asked: “Nana, did you hear about the man that was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis?” I hadn’t. She proceeded to tell me the back-story to George Floyd’s death, perpetrated by the officer who had his knee on his neck and wouldn’t release him even when he was saying he couldn’t breathe. Maybe I expressed some sadness, but certainly not to the measure that this incident deserved. I casually dismissed it from my mind. I’m so ashamed.
I’m back home and the visibility of what happened is on all media. I watched three black ministers and one white minister detailing the incident and the shame of it all on a Christian talk show. The black host, Clifton Davis, former “Amen” actor, was compelling in leading the discussion. The white minister, Rich Wilkerson Sr., had little to say. He just cried and expressed, like I am, shame. The panel each spoke to the options we have as Christians, which includes operating in the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. One of the black ministers encouraged white ministers to start speaking up more about respect, honor, and dignity of the human race at large.
And, I agree. This is a human race issue. It is a “kindness” issue. It is a “love others” issue. It is a deep-look-inside-ourselves issue. We cannot just sit back, close our eyes and hope that everything’s gonna’ be alright. We can’t just let others “fight the good fight” or to offer a mediocre prayer. It’s about all of us speaking up and out about daily choices.
We can live with the chaos and negativity and assaults on our brothers and sisters OR we can treat God’s children as the absolute priceless treasures that they are by speaking up and out for them. Enough is enough. We can be Good Samaritans. We can be good neighbors. We can be the peacemaker in the midst of family disagreements. We can walk away from a group that is telling inappropriate jokes and stories. Violence in movies, video-games, and tv shows we watch, the music we listen to, and the sensitive or insensitive conversations we have with others all determine which side of the camp we’ll be on. Peace or anger. Love or hate. Philippians 4:8 says it best: “Keep practicing those things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy. THEN, the God of peace will be with you.”
And, finally, back to this scripture which is for the pandemic, the chaos in politics, in conditions of the heart and soul, and conflict in our society and in our homes, please heed these words: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Lord, please forgive us. Please forgive me for my lack of concern, my lack of compassion, my lack of speaking up for my fellow man and woman. Tenderize my heart to be as loving, caring and tender-hearted as Your heart. We pray for a uniting of our hearts as Your children – as brothers and sisters in the Family of God. In Mandisa’s song, she sings: “We all bleed the same. We’re more beautiful when we come together. We all bleed the same. So tell me why, tell me why, we’re divided. If we’re gonna’ fight, let’s fight for each other. If we’re gonna’ shout, let love be the cry.”
Hear our cry to love, oh Lord, we pray. Amen.