Responsible For What is Mine

People seem to live life like everything is the Superbowl. There are two teams and for better or worse, you pick a side. We just saw this with the COVID situation. Half my social media was full of people saying it was a joke, don't be fooled by this hoax, and if you wear a mask you're a sheep and a fool. The other half were people truly scared for their health and saying things like, "I hope you like your pedicure, it'll look great in your casket" - almost as if they hoped everyone who went out of their homes would become ill.

Most issues are more complex than this. Why can we not be both concerned about our health AND our freedoms being revoked? Why can I not social distance AND enjoy my life?

It is now the same with the fallout of the George Floyd situation. And I have deliberated and prayed hard about the position that I take and the words that I will choose when I speak and write about this because it is such a serious, delicate and complex issue.

I support any peaceful protest and the right of any person to peacefully protest any matter as it is our guarantee in the Constitution.

I support all of those standing in protest of this and all other senseless killings.

I am simultaneously against any destruction of private property or further violence against civilians or police in an attempt to protest.

I am against the militarization of police.

I am against the sick fetish of the media and politicians to stir dissent and cause people to rise up against one another. The system wants us to be divided. They have more power that way.

I feel like people feel as if they must pick a side, that you are either pro-looters and protesters OR that you are for the police and this is not the case. Why can we not side with respect and decency?

I have always stated that all lives matter. I have proven this by continually supporting pro-life organizations as I believe all lives matters beginning at the moment of conception. All lives, regardless of race, regardless even if they have been born into this world. All lives matter.

But in this moment we need to recognize the racism that exists within our country, and recognize also that we have a history in this country of turning our backs on those being marginalized, and not always has it been the black community, either. We turned our backs on Jews seeking asylum here as they faced genocide overseas during WWII. We turned our backs on our own Japanese citizens as we let them be put in concentration camps. The list can go on, including the Native Americans, the Irish, the Chinese and so on, all the way back to slavery. We need to own the fact that we have a document that states all men are created equal by God, but we have not even properly put that into action. America has failed the black community over and over throughout the history of this country.

As I was putting my thoughts about all of this together, I could picture in my mind some people that I respect that I believe will roll their eyes at me. And I can hear the argument being made about black on black violence, the troubles within the black culture, the unaddressed issues being faced within that demographic and so on. And I don't disagree about any of that. But it is not my responsibility to address the issues within the black community. It is my responsibility to address my place in this world and the attitude that I have my personal responsibility as both a human and a Christian to love everyone.

I can only be responsible for what is mine. I can only influence within my sphere, I can only speak from my own heart and I can only adjust my own attitude. But I believe we each have a purpose to be a living example of the love Christ had for us.

My Savior died for the sins of all humans. For our sins! For the worst in us. Think of that. Our God sent his sinless Son to die a physical death for the sins of each person. For the George Floyds. For the cops. For the racists. For the protesters. For the looters. For each person sitting quietly on the sideline trying to be neutral. For each wrong act and thought any of us have ever had. For the ugliest side of human nature. How can I know that and not find within myself the grace to love people who badly need it?

So, as I thought harder about this, I thought about what Jesus would do. He loves us as a collective whole but He loves each individual, too. And when it comes to the value of human life, I know Jesus would not be neutral. 

I do not have the answer to every problem America is facing right now. But I know we won't ever correct these problems without looking them in the eye and addressing it. And I know the answer does not lie in more division, more hate and more finger pointing. The answer is love.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8