Friday, December 12, 2014

"I, the Lord, Search the Heart"...Ferguson, MO. (Heartfelt Sigh)

The great internal debate has been brewing in me.  Do I dig into something that can be so divisive or do I speak the words I've been writing in my head for weeks?

Ya, I don't love division, but then again, that is what is spurring me on to write today (after so long away).


It seems like, as we wade through the events in Ferguson, the nation is polarized.

"This is clearly about TRUTH!".

What events happened that day to Michael?  What led to the death of a young man?  If the proof put before the Grand Jury shows the police officer's (and several other witnesses of different nationalities) version of events is true, the pain and hurt...mistrust...should be put aside.  We need to focus on an officer who has a tough job, putting his life on the line for his community.  He didn't wake up that morning thinking he'd have to defend his life, but his life may forever (on this earth) be in danger anyway.  We need to focus on the only truth (that the current facts seem to back up) and have compassion, because we (flat out) weren't there.

The other half of of the passionate divide lands in RACE.  "This is about race!"

A Caucasian police officer killed a African American teen.

Just to be clear, racism IS alive and well in America.

My oldest daughter and I saw this (in a minor way) just last week as we shopped for a new tree topper for our Christmas tree.

Sarah and I in our silliness this Summer

The angel on our tree had beautiful wings that changed color, only last year they stopped working.  We had purchased this when Bekah was on the way to join our family from Ethiopia.  She (the tree topper...though so was Bekah) was the prettiest angel I had seen, the prettiest African American angel.  I was disappointed that the lights stopped working and really doubted that we could find one so precious to us.   
Our Bekah this last Summer

We were just looking and didn't really have the money. 

As we looked in the aisle at a local retailer, an employee walked in back of us and said, "You guys otta look at the black angel.  I'm SURE (very sarcastic tone) you'll want that one."  He then chuckled and made comments under his breath (thinking he's being very funny) inferring no one would want that one.  

This angel was BEAUTIFUL.  This was not one angel topper being created cheaply. 

This stuff is not uncommon.  It's reality for many...for our children.

A precious bloggy friend moved me to tears as I read her blog post.

I struggle with the words though.  I struggle because I understand (to an SMALL extent) both sides to this situation, though  I can't claim to have physically been there.

This post by Mr. Watson is the only link I had posted on Facebook (about Ferguson) during this time. It was the only thing I "said".  It decribed so well my feelings.

You see it's not about either situation exclusively.  It's about BOTH.

We can't look at the situation in a purely emotional way, though the tragedy in the situation makes this hard.  Yes, this precious teen is dead. (No matter WHAT happened, this was a young man created by God.) His family is suffering.  It's life lose a child.  They will sit around the Christmas tree with a void, that may make smiling near impossible.  They lost a piece of themselves. It's hard to look analytically at this situation.  Actually, the word "situation" shines a light on the difficulty.  Michael was not a situation, but a young man...a person.

Yet, so is the police officer, Officer Wilson.  When push came to shove, independent autopsies were performed and both backed up what the police officer and several witnesses said (that is what it initially seems in my nonprofessional opinion).   Can the truth be skewed? Of course it can.  But we have to look at what information we have available right now.

We have to look at this as people that were not there though. (THAT is absolute truth.  We weren't there.)

Based on evidence (at this point), an officer was attacked and did what was within his training to do (again, from what I understand).  For the rest of his life he has to live with the fact that he took a young man's life.  I don't imagine it is something he will ever be able to just "live with".

His career is most likely over.  He will have to move to keep his family safe (I can't imagine another way to do that.).  This officer and his family need support and prayers if we have the truth in the facts presented.

If this is only about what was presented to us, the truth as we know it, then that is all that should concern us.

It is ABSOLUTELY not though.

Yes, I'm being blunt.  This needs to be said.

Imagine this....

Every 10th time you went to the only bank in town, the teller short changed your father $10. Now, as an adult, the same is happening to you (let's say every 15th time).  You both tried to deal with it, but it got ugly and threats were made.  Your son turned 18, opened an account at this bank, and came home upset because every 20th time the bank short changed him the same $10.  Yes, it's getting less.  No, that doesn't make it ok.

Now, a neighbor comes to you.  This neighbor tells you that the bank short changed him $10.  With historical and personal reference, you absolutely believe it.  It doesn't matter if it's a new teller with no record of this.  You've seen this for far too many years.  You will stand behind this neighbor with 100% certainty, though you weren't there.

I would most likely.  It makes sense.  The "facts" back it up in history. The same truth that we claim is one sided all of a sudden can be looked at differently.

MAYBE (in this case at the bank) it didn't happen, but everyone in the town that has been short changed DEMANDS the teller is fired and prosecuted for stealing.  The bank doesn't fire the teller, but EVERYONE is furious.  The town turns to violence.

 Does this mean I approve of the destruction or the the hate/division mongering leaders that seem to seek situations out to create a divide? No, but I get the pain and anger behind it.  I get the assumptions, whether right or wrong.

This is exactly how I view the situation in Ferguson.  It's not as clear cut as so many make it out to be.  It IS about race.  This nation may be getting better, but racism is alive and well.  There was a KKK rally within 25 minutes of us just this last month.  Michael's family needs constant prayers...and the city of Ferguson, MO.

It is about officer's life will be forever changed for doing his job.  From the information we have, it looks like he defended his own life and tragically took another.

This divide needs to stop.  We need to both allow truth to come forward AND to stand up against racism.

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." Martin Luther King

We need let the blood of Christ run over this whole mess.

He is the Great Healer.  I'm just a woman with no real answers.  GOD IS A GOD OF ALL ANSWERS.

Is truth the answer? Is race (which is also truth)?

No....THE GREAT HEALER....GOD is the only answer.  He sees the hearts of men...

“I, the Lordsearch the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10

...and knows what really happened that day.

As for us...we pray, stand up, and love with the heart God gave us.

We remember that we cannot change others actions, only our own.

We remember that "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." I Timothy 2:1-5a


I know this is a divisive sitation and in NO way do I want to contribute to that, yet (as I tie this up) I watch....
My Asian daughter play baby songs to her dolly.
My youngest African American daughter playing with a toy computer.
My African American son laying across the trampoline.
My little son with Down Syndrome throwing pillows at his sister.
(The rest of the children are doing their own thing elsewhere.)

These situations are close to my heart.   Every situation has to be looked at individually. There will be instances where it's clearly racism.  There will be instances of wonderful police officers in a tragic situation.  There will be instances of terrible policeman doing something horrible and it not being about race.


Side Note:  I know feelings are strong and I WELCOME the sharing of different views kindly and loving words walking me through things I don't understand (and need to).  I am FAR FAR from perfect.  I have a lot to learn.  

Though some may publish ugly comments.  I'm not.  There is enough ugliness in this world.  So in other words, be honest...NICELY.

1 comment:

  1. You speak my heart so well!!

    That is the only thing I said about Ferguson on Facebook also. :)


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