It is Time

 

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So much has been said…so much has been posted…and yet here we are. Fear, anger, frustration, hate, intolerance, all seem to be increasing and encroaching. Just in the past week a group of people threatened a College President, his children, and students in Lindsborg, Kansas.

As of late the alerts on my phone seem like a never ending barrage of police shootings, protests, and racially motivated incidents. I am heartbroken by what is unfolding around us. I am heartbroken by the ways we so quickly get into our camps, put up our flags, and damn the other side. I am heartbroken by the manner in which we are so quick to become angry, it is as though Jesus’ brother James never wrote these words, “…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (1:19b,20).”

I am blessed to serve our local police department as their chaplain. It wasn’t until I started spending time with these officers that something struck me. What would it be like to have to wear a Kevlar vest to work in our community? What would it be like to be a wife or husband and watch your spouse put that vest on each day. What would it be like to be a child and see Mom or Dad put that vest on each day? The very act of wearing it says, “There is a chance I’m not going to come home after work, but I’m going to do all that I can to come back to you when my shift is over.” Pause for a moment and consider that life.

What I write next I hesitate to even attempt, for I do not know what it is like. In fear and trembling here we go…Now consider the African American household, or the Latino household, or the Asian household, or Middle Eastern household; not only in urban settings but suburban as well, or even rural like Lindsborg, KS. What must it be like to to wake up each day not knowing how your actions will be interpreted by a fearful or nervous police officer? What must it be like to hear time and time again that your skin color alone makes you suspect of criminal activity or a lower-class resident on the fringes of acceptable society? Pause for a moment and consider that life.

This white middle-class preacher in a rural setting cannot even begin to wrap my head around those types of daily struggles.

We are better than all of this aren’t we? We are better than building fences and bunkers and damning the other side…aren’t we? We are better than being people that allow anger to dictate the ways that we live…aren’t we?

I hope so.

It is time, now, before it gets any worse, to meet our neighbors, to love them, and to walk together with them. When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbor.” Jesus told a story about a Jewish man beaten within an inch of his life, left to die on the side of the road. The one who saved him? A Samaritan. To the Jewish lawyer this was the worst possible answer, when Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which of these three…proved to be a neighbor…?” The man cannot even bring himself to say the word “Samaritan” he meekly responds, “The one who showed him mercy.” Luke 10:25-37

It is time for mercy to reign over wrath, it is time for peace to reign over fear, it is time for hope to reign over distrust.

We are better than this.

We are better than this.

We are better than this.

It is time to treat each other as more than a profession or a race or a label or a cause. It is time to treat each other as we are, people created in the image of God, not one person deserving to be thrown away or discarded.

It is time for the body of Christ, the church, to be reaching out to our neighbors, walking with them, serving them, loving them. It is time.

This entry was posted in Faith, Family, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to It is Time

  1. Weenie says:

    Oh pastor, u said it!

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