The last few months have been difficult on everyone. COVID-19 spread terror and left millions home to self-quarantine and face their inner demons alone. Many stuck in domestic abuse were made to be home with those they most fear. Numerous jobs lost, shelves out of stock, the news screaming fear, fear, fear! It was a ticking time-bomb just waiting to go off.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not stating that COVID-19 has caused all of the protests and riots we are now seeing. I’m only setting the stage for a nation/world that has an overload of pent-up emotion.
Now, this is when it becomes difficult for me. When my son became a police officer, I was the proudest mother in the world! His sense of justice is just part of his DNA and it was a natural fit for him. Basically, he was born to do this. I had no major fears or reluctance at the idea of him patrolling our city.
I was raised in Virginia, which is really the border between the North and South. Of course, Virginia was the capitol of the South during the Civil War. You can take your pick of statues, museums and memorials. At the same time, it was the most Northern State, so it’s become a sort of melting pot. It’s not the South you think of when you think redneck, southern cooking, and so on.
Growing up, I never really thought in terms of color. I suppose it never really affected me personally, so I didn’t feel the need to address it. I wrongly assumed the Civil Rights were sorted out a decade or so before my birth. My children have been raised with friends of any ethnic background. Some of my son’s best friends have been African-American.
Because of all this, the ferociousness and intensity that the BLM movement recently took has really shook me to the core and caused me to rethink everything. I know it is affecting millions. I see the posts back and forth. I see the hate, the division, and the absolute rudeness and disrespect towards others. Believe me, I see it. I hear about it.
My pride suddenly became fear. My joy turned to terror. My son is out on the streets facing things only a parents’ mind would turn to. I started to see in color. I started to think in terms of hate. I quickly became caught up in the turmoil. All the while, my son is telling me that he’s not seeing it like the news is telling it and there is an outpouring of love from local businesses. My mind is spinning because there are two very different sides to the story. Yes, he has seen the worst in people, but he’s also seen the best.
My motherly instincts weren’t having it. I was terrified for him. I was letting the hate seep in to my soul. I was looking at the world from my upbringing. I was refusing to see it from God’s viewpoint.
I spent a few days in my head just not wanting to let it go. I wanted to go online and add to the noise of hate. I wanted to prove to the world that police are good and they are for our protection! I wanted to say that there are terrible people in any profession. I wanted to scream my thoughts and my opinions.
God let me have my fit. Then he gently lifted me up out of my pit I’d dug and wiped the dirt off my face. He whispered to me that He loves me, but what is a worldview of my slanted and nearsighted opinions? He asked me to open my eyes and see others as He sees them. He reminded me that I have no idea the things that people have faced. I am ignorant of what it is like to be someone else. To be honest, we are all in the dark to what anyone else feels. We can only feel and understand things based on our emotions and background.
If this is true, how are we to connect? How are we to conquer things such as racism and social injustice? There will always be differing opinions and hate. Is it a useless endeavor?
Thankfully, we have a God that understands. We have a God with all the answers. It’s simple really.
The answer is not in solving social justice. The answer is not in making my point. The answer is not about offense, shock-value, nor abusive speech.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
Our way to change the world? Love God and treat others as we wish to be treated.
Hearts are never going to change as long as there is hate. Things cannot change where there is pride. Our best example is a God that gave everything up to come to earth and face the injustices we face. He purposely gave Himself to feel pain and face death. He came to show us how to love others. He came to show us how to change the world. He gave up His rights and He just loved.
A world that follows that example is a world that changes for the better. It’s a world without fear. It’s a world of kindness. It’s not about me and my opinions. It’s about others and their pain. It’s about listening and loving. There’s an old saying about having two ears and one mouth for a reason.
So, where am I now? I am trusting God. I am a proud mom giving my son a big hug and “love you” when he walks out the door. I am listening instead of talking. Yes, I’m also posting this, but it’s not with my emotions that I speak. I am writing with an open ear and a very open heart. I am praying for a nation and a world that loves God and sees His wisdom. I am praying that we use His wisdom and love each other. I am praying that we stop posting our emotionally charged opinions and hateful rhetoric. I’m just as guilty of it, but it’s not a trend I wish to continue.
I encourage you to please reach across the lines and love.
Category: it's personal, UncategorizedTags: African-American, bible, Black Lives Mater, BLM, Blue Lives Matter, God, Jesus, Listening, love, Police, Police Lives Matter, Racism, Social Injustice, Wisdom