I’ve been writing this blog for over a year. When I first began I had a single vision in mind. I wanted to share with you my experiences of living life as a disabled person. Likewise, I wanted to share the positives that I see. Finally, I wanted to make it a place where I could show how absurd life can be. However, as I have gotten deeper into writing, I have begun to widen my focus.
For instance, I often share my experiences as a foster parent. Likewise, I have written about my family. Finally, I have shared with you my hobbies and interests. One topic that I have shied away from is politics. The reason for this is that I believe political issues often divide us. I never want to cause division. I would much rather bring people together. However something has been on my heart and mind the last several days.
It is an issue that is political, however, it goes far deeper than that. The thing that has been troubling me is the murder of George Floyd. This is not meant to be a political debate. Please read to the end of this post and then if you’d like to comment, I’d appreciate hearing what you have to say.
First, I believe we as humans are born with a sinful nature. However, I believe that God has also instilled in each of us the power to love. He also gave each of us free will. We are free to love, but we are also free to hate. Whichever one of these we choose is often ingrained in us at an early age. We can be taught to love our neighbor, or we can be taught to hate them. Along with this, I believe we all have the power to change what we think and do. Finally, our actions have consequences. If you act out of hate, you will perhaps just breed more hate.
I believe hate leads to destruction. I don’t truly know the heart of the police officer who murdered George Floyd. However, that police officer’s actions were certainly not coming from a place of love. To me it appears they were rooted in arrogance.
He pinned a defenseless man to the ground until that man could no longer breathe. This was despite pleas for mercy not only from George Floyd himself, but from a crowd of onlookers as well. Undertand this, I do not believe all police officers are bad. In fact, I have much respect for those who put themselves in harm’s way for others. However, there are police officers who use excessive force, simply because they can. This is something that must stop.
A man was murdered in cold blood because he was falsely accused of passing off a counterfeit $20 bill to a local shop owner. A life was lost over a misunderstanding. A life was lost because mercy was not extended to someone who was powerless. This goes much deeper than politics. It also goes much deeper than race. This is an issue of the heart. The Jewish prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 King James Version). I believe the heart of the police officer responsible for the murder of George Floyd is perhaps much like that described in the book of Jeremiah. Why else would he have not shown mercy to a man who was clearly in distress?
Those who have taken to the streets in non-violent protest, I am with you. My heart goes out to the anguish and rage you are feeling. Yet more injustice has been done to you. It has been there for hundreds of years and there seems to be no end in sight.
In a speech given to a crowd at Stanford University on April 14, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about “the other America.” Unfortunately, This is a place that exists today. It is one in which many black Americans, and other minorities are still living. It is a place where poverty, violence, and hunger reign. It is a place that could be fixed if the human heart was not so wicked.
Those of us who have the power to help often sit on the sidelines thinking that the “other America” is someone else’s problem to confront. This is wrong, we all have the power to make life better for those who are unable to see their way out of poverty and despair. If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves as Jesus has commanded us to do, then we can no longer sit on the sidelines. It is time for action.
In Dr. King’s speech refenced above, he also noted, “the riot is the language of the unheard.” Yes, people are out in the streets rioting because they feel they are being ignored by a justice system that has historically marginalized them. Dr. King further went on to say that “riots are socially destructive and self-defeating.” I believe this to be very true. What is to be gained by burning down your neighbor’s business? I empathize with the frustration and anger that drives the riots. However, creating more death and destruction is senseless.
I hesitated to post this because I do not want to create any more division. However, I express myself best through the written word. For me to remain silent, I feel, just perpetuates more indifference. When so many are hurting, we need to be showing each other love and mercy. I wish I knew how to solve the problems we are facing today. I do know one thing, we need to be checking our hearts. If we are not doing things out of love, then we are doing them wrong.