"I Can't Believe the News Today" - October 2017
The elephant in the room has gotten so big that it has pushed the average person up against the wall. One can hardly move. That is to say, if one simply ties to live life, act normal, go through their routine, they have to do so with a modicum of denial. One is almost forced to talk about the things going on in our country and our world.
How many times have we felt like what we were reading or hearing in the news was beyond belief? The news of natural disasters, hurricanes and earthquakes, horrify us. News about international relations frightens us. Issues of racism, as it rears its ugly head in the criminal justice system, remind us of the 1960s. Some say Black Lives Matter. Others say All Lives Matter, but if everyone believed that, there would be no reason to say Black Lives Matter.
If that’s not enough, we recently find ourselves polarized around the issue of whether people have the right to engage in peaceful protest. Some say to kneel down while the anthem is played and the flag is presented is disrespectful to what it represents. By implication, this means that to stand and place one’s hand over one’s heart shows respect for what it represents. Is that what this is really about? Visible signs of respect? Surely we all know that one can kneel down and still treat their brother with love, and one can place their hand over their heart and still treat those who are different with hatred. "A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ’Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ’I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’ ; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of the father? They answered, ‘the first." (Matthew 21:28-31a)
I mentioned the 1960s earlier, arguably the most tumultuous decade of the twentieth century. We now find ourselves in the two-teens and we can’t believe the variety and intensity of the trouble our nation faces.
One way to maintain hope in difficult times is to remember how God has seen us through in the past. As people of God, we also want to make sure we are contributing to the healing of the nation. It starts with how we treat one another. Maybe the people of God need to be even more conscious, more loving, more caring than normal to help tip the scale back in the right direction.