Flags at half mast.
More devastated families—both black and white—planning funerals.
More communities torn apart, choosing sides, turning on each other instead of pulling together and seeking solutions.
My heart weeps for America.
We’re all losers here.
The nightly news saddens.
It frightens me.
It brings me to my knees.
Save Me from Knee-Jerk Reactions.
Part of me wants to lecture about treating everyone with dignity, the futility of hatred and revenge, not to mention the difference between being mature, responsible citizens and undisciplined, scofflaws.
But wiser people than I are speaking out about those issues. Besides, I just get more riled up when I go there. And heaven knows we have enough angry folks holding forth without my two cents.
Granted it Feels Good to Rant and Rave—for a little while, but it’s exhausting and worst of all, more often than not, leads to tragedy.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked;
for whatever a man sows,
that he will also reap.
Remind Us of Truth
Everyone should be treated with dignity.
No one should be bullied by police officers, hooligans, or (you fill in the blank).
No one should lose his or her life because he or she resembles someone we’ve grown to fear and hate.
As my friend, Anna, says, Haters are gonna hate. Anger and revenge are not the answer.
I believe we’re better than that.
Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Who Will Rescue Us?
Please, please, please, let’s claw our way back up the slippery slope of Payback. There’s nothing down there except muck and pain.
Let’s seek to pull back those who are in danger of losing their footing. Won’t someone throw a lifeline to the ones already stuck in the mire of vengeance. We should all join forces and draw them out of that terrible pit.
I get it.
Something within me cries out for justice, too. But justice requires gathering the facts. Let’s guard our emotions while we wait. It’s easy to spew out our own particular leanings and understandings, point fingers at others, and make excuses for our side. But here’s another universal truth.
Stop judging, and you won’t be judged.
Stop condemning, and you’ll never be condemned.
Forgive, and you’ll be forgiven.
Something or Someone is telling me to tread carefully here. He’s inviting me to examine my own heart. In fact, He’s insisting upon it.
After all, I profess to be a Christian. Isn’t Jesus my example, the Bible, my handbook? (If you profess another faith, what does it tell you about hatred and seeking revenge?)
I can’t do anything about what you or anyone else thinks or does. Oh, I can stir up your prejudices—we all have some. I can inflame your emotions or you mine.
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But wait a minute. Isn’t that like pumping poison into our souls?
You know—like folks in AA say, Are we drinking the poison and expecting it to kill the other guy?
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought
to do what is honorable in the sight of all…
Beloved, never avenge yourselves…
for it is written, Vengeance is mine,
I will repay says the Lord.
I don’t know what’s in your heart, nor do you know what’s in mine.
But we all need to examine our hearts.
Uh-oh, wait a minute. If I’m honest with myself, I know without God’s searchlight, I will ignore the darkest regions there. The ones that make me cringe.
Only He sees us as we really am. He sees each of us clearly. Even thought it’s almost beyond human comprehension, He Loves Us in spite of our failings.
So today, I’m crying out for God’s Mercy.
I’m asking Him to pour out His Spirit of Truth, Forgiveness, Wisdom, Peace, Hope, and Reconciliation upon our nation.
Will you join me?
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon.
Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved