Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

This journey through life is never boring......

Month: September 2017 (page 2 of 2)

Treading Lightly on a Deep Subject

Charlottesville

– for many white people, it was like, “Yikes, I didn’t know there were people around who still felt that way. This is a problem. This isn’t who we are. This is a small group of crazies.”

– for other white people, it was like, “It’s about time someone stood up for everything we have lost to “them.”

– for many people of color, it was like tearing out the stitches on a relatively recent wound. They knew it was there but suddenly it got a whole lot more real again.

– for some people of color, it was like re-breaking a leg that you broke many years ago in a high school football game. You always knew it was there, but suddenly it got a lot more painful again.

Now please note, I am not a person of color, so my estimate of what they were feeling comes from someone who hasn’t been there, but knows people who have. So if I’m wrong or at best different from your perspective, please accept my apology.

So what does this leave us with? A deep subject that a lot of people are afraid to do anything more than tread lightly on. Or if they are willing to jump in and discuss it, they have only their opinions to back it up. (I think that many of those who jump in with only their opinions are afraid of being wrong and believe that loud is a good compensating factor.)

I am going to try something different here. I have been and will continue to be in touch with preachers and other church leaders – and they are not all white Dutch guys. I have received a substantial list of books that address the issues we are attempting to deal with – issues that were once again brought to light by actions in Charlottesville and elsewhere.

These are authors and activists and theologians who talk about all aspects of white privilege, racism, what God has to say, what the slave traders had to say, what our Founding Fathers had to say, what the leaders of the civil war had to say, what pastors in Nazi Germany had to say and what Martin Luther King Junior had to say (and that’s only a start……)

I’m going to do a series on the blog about these issues. It’s not going to be a short one because it’s a deep and multi-faceted problem.

But it is a problem. Collectively, we (the white man) are not treating others the way God wants us to.

That has to change.

I don’t know how long this series will take – but there are a lot of details that people currently are ignoring that need to be known.

Walk with me. If you want to write a guest post about the issues, let’s talk.

I believe we can do better.

I believe we must do better.

Tom

Haiti and Irma

“If you say a big hurricane is coming here, then it’s the end of the world for us,” he despaired, turning his gaze to the ground.

https://www.afp.com/en/news/23/irmas-path-haitians-face-storms-fury-alone

Please say a prayer for all who face Irma, but especially those who have no protection……

Tom

Stick to Sports?

I’m sharing this from my nephew, Adam Vanderwell, without his permission. I know he won’t mind……

Incredible to hear the work being done in relief of Hurricane Harvey by the likes of J.J Watt (Raised $20 million), Tracy McGrady (who opened his own home to those displaced) and the many other professional athletes using their platform and resources combat the suffering in Texas. But what about the whole “Stick to sports” narrative? If we really wanted athletes to just “stick to sports”, which is absurd and silencing to begin with, then what would we have to say something about the work being done to relieve those afflicted by Hurricane Harvey? Now I realize I am being ridiculous, of course no right minded individual would have any issue with an athlete using their platform and resources to address human suffering as a result of Harvey. But the question I then have is when it comes to other forms of humn sufffering ,certain social issues “police brutality, racism etc.”, why do we demand athletes stick to sports? Why can they not combat these instances of human suffering using their platform and resources? It would seem this narrative has far more to do with resentment towards certain issues being addressed, rather than an actual desire to see athletes stick to sports.

Band Aid?

What’s a body supposed to do?

Do we care about what happened in Charlottesville and not pay attention to the Harvey victims?

I don’t think, actually I know that God would not be happy with us ignoring the countless people who are struggling because of the remnants of over 4 feet of rain. Think about it. A large percentage of middle schoolers would not be able stand with their head above water if that happened and there was no one there to help.

Or do we put a very long term problem once again on the back burner and go about helping Houston and then back to business as it was?

Whether you believe that racism is a very large problem in the United States or racism is a small problem that is blown out of proportion, I think we can all agree that Charlottesville was like the bandaid that got pulled off very quickly. It hurt and it pulled the scab off.

Do we need a bigger bandaid to stop the bleeding? Or are we going to have to go in and have surgery to stop the bleeding and heal the wound?

We don’t know yet, in terms of Charlottesville. We do in terms of Houston. A Band Aid won’t work in Houston.

May God have mercy on those who have suffered extremely – either from a natural disaster of epic proportions or a racial demonstration with ramifications around our country.

And may we continue to ask ourselves, how is God wanting us to help those less fortunate?

Thanks,
TV

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