3 Facts for the Day (Trayvon Martin Edition)

23 07 2013

1. I continue to see images on social media in relation to recent controversies sensationalized by our beloved journalists. Initially I remained in the background on this issue. I watched, from a safe distance, as both sides duked it out. It felt easier to keep my opinion to myself, especially as things began to get ugly. I even stood in shock as I watched vicious tongues lash on people simply stating they wanted nothing to do with it all! It seems to have simmered down from the initial onslaught of self-righteous anger, but I continue to see a world divided, pitting one opinion against the next. As much as I wanted to distance myself completely from the finger pointing and name calling, and it would be especially easy as time has passed, I felt an urging to write on this today.
2. I am no stranger to racism. Sadly, I have been the victim of racism. “Ridiculous” you may say! After all, I’m a Caucasian female. Call me white, if you will. Well I tell you, I can be the victim of racism as easy as anyone else. It’s definition is intolerance, hatred, or discrimination against a person based on their race or ethnicity. When I was in the military and stationed up North in either Great Lakes, IL or Bethesda, MD, I was the victim of racism numerous times. It was easily assumed that because I was a white girl from Mississippi that I was ignorant, close-minded, and naturally hated all black people and felt I was above them. My Mother raised me originally in California. She was very insistent on being tolerant and unified with people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I have never had a racist bone in my body, but because I had a southern accent, it was just assumed that I was. Everyone saw the movie Mississippi Burning and drew their own conclusions. It hurt to be judged. So if you feel like a victim of racism, then I am very sorry for your feelings and am definitely empathetic. There seems to be a bigger problem here though folks, and that is truly the reason for this post. As I sat back watching my friends and relatives launch a race war on social media, all I felt was sadness. I suppose I should say that at first I was sad. Then I became angry. It infuriated me that the devil could use God’s people in such a way. As I sat back in silence I watched satan sow discourse in the church of public opinion.

Romans 16: 17-18
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

There is no problem with standing firm in what you believe in/for. That is admirable actually. The problem occurs when self-serving anger causes you to lash out vehemently to your fellow man. You think, “I have been wronged. I have been discriminated against!” I, I, I! Don’t be naive enough to think it is anything but selfishness. Using dividing terms like “my people” is equally as wrong as bringing up stories of crimes from a decade ago to try and make your point more valid than the other guy’s. Either way becomes a game of “one upping” the other person. My story of discrimination and hatred is worse than yours!! It’s not even your story, is the thing. You’re using the tragedy of someone else to further your own stance, your own personal agenda. In the end, it serves only one purpose. No one’s point is made any better than the other. The only real thing that has happened is God’s people have been divided against each other.
3. This morning my two year old asked her Father and I to play blocks with her. As we started to build block towers, she decided quickly that she would rather make her own. As Ben and I worked together, our tower easily grew in height. She looked over at our masterpiece. I felt certain she would be angry over our result in comparison to her own. She surprised me though. She said, “I got a good block for there.” She removed a single Lego from her tower and placed it in a vacant spot of our construction. She did not get angry that our tower was taller. She didn’t complain that we had more blocks, were older, and therefore more able to construct what we had. She could have easily smacked our tower to the ground. Instead she united her efforts and resources with ours. Together we created something greater than we could have apart. Could we all learn from the innocence of youth? No, this has no hidden meanings concerning classes and distribution of wealth. Don’t be daft. The point of the story is working together despite your differences. Unity, not division, is what we need as a people, church, and country. I’m saddened that we can so easily be manipulated to take our eyes off the ball. While we’re throwing low punches at one another over one poor boy’s inexcusable death, thousands are dying to crimes of hatred. Our division only fuels the fire for these acts of hate against humanity. You’ve all heard, united we stand, divided we fall. It’s true. I encourage you to open your eyes. You will see the enemy is laughing while we blindly become ensnared in his trap. Dividing God’s army is his mission. I am truly sorry for injustice, discrimination, and hatred. But let’s not make it worse! If you want to “make a stand” for something, stand up for love.

John 13: 34-35
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

I would encourage you before you make that next comment, or share that next post on social media, that you stop and think. Ask yourself, “Does this show God’s love? Does this unify or divide God’s people? Am I simply responding quickly in self-serving anger?” This is something we all must remind ourselves of to keep the family unit functioning for The Kingdom. I love you all, brothers and sisters.
That is all šŸ™‚

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