Chronicling 40: Day 24 of 365

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I wish I could say that I can’t believe what happened in Charlottesville… but I can.  When your eyes are opened to racism, you see it is more around you than you once realized.  The more open your eyes, the more you see it.  When you ask the Lord to break your heart for what breaks His… Charlottesville cuts deep.

The bandaid has been ripped off, the wound has been festering because it never fully healed.  You can change policy and law all you want, but if the hearts don’t change with it… then it is merely superficial.  But eventually, you must face it.  It will be raw.  Oozing.  There will stench and rot.  It will be hot to the touch, infected.  It will be gross.  It also may get worse before it gets better.

I have listened to too many who try to justify away the things they hear on the news.  Too many who say “what about me”, as if sharing the world means there is less of it for oneself.

I, for one, am over it.  I’m calling it like I see it.  I’m not holding back.

Racism in any form is sin, it is straight from hell, it is not of Christ.  Do not spew vitriol and sit next to me in the pews on Sunday.  I see your sin nature, loud and clear and I will not be apart of it.  I will not have my kids exposed to it.  I will not stand for it in my presence.

Your jokes are not funny, because they reveal parts of your heart and it is stained.

Don’t quote the Bible in one breath and spew hate in another.  Move along.  You are not wanted here.

While I send those parting words, know that my heart breaks because you do not know what it is you do.  I pray that is true, that you truly don’t know.  I pray that the Lord will forgive your ignorance, as much as I pray that your eyes and heart will be opened to truth in away that changes you to your core.  That you will pursue repentance, seek forgiveness, and reconciliation is on your tongue.  I pray that in the meantime, those who find themselves in your wake are protected from the venom and the words you use to tickle their ears.

I pray that your children will see the world differently than you, and one day will rise up against what you have stood for. What you stand for is not Christlike, not American, and not ok.

Not in Charlottesville.

Not anywhere.

Not today Satan, not today.

Equal in His Sight

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The world is aching right now.  Pain throbbing deep beneath the surface.  In some places everything looks ok, but small cracks are starting to appear.  In other areas the existing cracks are becoming deep caverns.  Pain that runs deep is seldom able to be healed with platitudes and promises.  And, much like the tremors near a volcano … it is a signal of an eruption.

When a volcano erupts, great amount of pressure that had been contained finally breaks through the surface.  It shows no regard for it’s surroundings, the animals and people who call the area home.  It shows no discrimination but destroys with complete abandon.

Humanity is like the volcano, as it builds up pressure of pain… hurt… oppression… discrimination… hatred…  it is bound to erupt.

When watching the news lately, one can’t help but think that the world is erupting.  It can’t take much more.  Whether we are watching the fallout of terrorism on distant shores or watching a nation tearing itself apart on our doorsteps… there is friction.

Reflecting on our recent news, and the contents of my Facebook news feed, I see the friction.  I also know that an object or a person can only take so much pressure… so much friction… before they break, before they erupt.

I see the hurt and pain of a marginalized people who have faced oppression and unfair treatment for far too long buckling under that pain.  Who do not want the whole to be profiled based on the actions of the few.

I see the hurt and pain as our men and women who serve on our police force are burying their own, too.  I hear their cries that this is not an answer… and they too do not want the many to be penalized by a broken society based on the actions of a few.

I’m watching on Facebook as people are being forced to take sides and God help you if you don’t pick the right one.  I am watching friends divide.  I watch wives in fear as their husbands leave to work another patrol.  I witness mothers of brown little boys and girls try to get the world to acknowledge their greatest fears every time their children walk out of their site.  I see communities who are saying ENOUGH and men/women in blue who are shouting THAT IS NOT ME.  I see the prayers and pleas from both sides who simply want their loved ones to come home tonight.

We were all created equal in His site.  Image bearers who are less than perfect.  All of us have past decisions that are less than stellar… for some even illegal.  Lord let me not judge the worthiness of a life TODAY based on a mistake made YESTERDAY.  Let me not judge the worthiness of a life TODAY based on how different a person looks or acts from me.  Let me stand in the way in injustice, be a voice for the voiceless, a shoulder to lean on.  Let me be ears capable of hearing, arms capable of lifting, and feet willing to walk beside.  Let me see the value you have given your creation, where you know the number of hairs on their heads…. you call them by name… those who are worth far more than rubies and pearls… more valuable than the sparrows to the God who loves them.

Forgive me for the times I failed to see… the times I didn’t want to hear… the disbelief that such pain was a deep and warranted.  Forgive me for the times I stayed silent when I should have spoken up.  Forgive me.  Give me your eyes for the hurting, broken in spirit, broken in body, broken in trust, broken in anguish, broken in anger.  Give me your heart, and break it for what breaks yours.

#BeTheChange for me starts with a prayer of forgiveness… that results in a softening of my heart and opens my eyes to see in a new way.

YOU are seen.

YOU are valuable.

YOU are loved.

Your life matters, greatly.