A Lament for Tuesday

God,

How?

How did this happen?   I mean seriously, how in the world did this happen?

So.much.anger

So.much.hate

So.many.lies

How did it get to this point?  

We’ve fallen so far that we can’t agree to disagree.   If you don’t believe the same that I do, you’re evil, you aren’t worth the digital time it takes to “talk” to you and you’re going to hell.

Seriously?

We’ve polluted social media so much that it’s no longer social.   Now it’s more like sociopathic.

Whatever happened to “Do Justice, Love Mercy and walk humbly with our God?” 

We’ve turned it to “believe what I do or else……”

We’ve got these two as presidential candidates (and I use the word loosely) but  then a Christian author steps slightly out of the bounds that most Christians might see as the “boundary” and the attacks on her are vicious.

Why can’t we say, “I don’t agree with her on that, but I agree with a lot of what she says and I agree we should show more love to everyone.”

To quote famous author, Bob Goff,  “Love Does.”

There ain’t been much doing that lately.   Why God?

We’ve got people getting on life boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea to try to get to freedom (think about that a minute – they are willing to risk death to avoid the life (or death) they were facing at home).   And we have politicians refusing to welcome refugees?

How did we fall this far?

We have people literally starving to death and living on what is left of the streets in southern  Haiti – only a couple of hours from Miami – and the government says it won’t be able to get to some of them until the end of November.   Oh and the last estimates, over 800,000 people are “at risk” in Haiti.

The Hurricane was October 4.   God, where’s the justice in that?

Are you trying to teach us something?   Because if you are, we don’t seem to be listening.

Oh yeah and then there’s those two places, Aleppo and Mosul…..

God, what’s going on?

God, don’t forget the girls in Nigeria – many of the girls that Boko Haram kidnapped are still missing – two years later.

We know you’re the ultimate ruler but still, we wrestle.

We cry out.   Why, Oh Lord, Why?

Why do certain groups of people have justifiable reason to be afraid if a certain candidate gets elected?

What happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free?”

And what are we supposed to do?

What are we supposed to do on Tuesday?

What are we supposed to do on Wednesday?

To quote the father of the demon possessed boy in Mark 9,   “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

Help us believe that you have a plan.

Help calm our spirits in turbulent times.

Help calm the actions and reactions of volatile people.

Heal the wounds and help us to be a source of comfort for the homeless, the hurting and the refugee,

We don’t get it, God.

But we do get You.

Thank you for allowing us to have you, even in these times.

Amen

TJV

Hope–Lost?

I’ve heard it said that when people resort to violence, it’s because they have lost all hope for a peaceful resolution to their problems.

After centuries of fighting in the Middle East, is that why ISIS has gained in popularity among younger generation Muslims?

Is that why the statistics are stacked against black young men in terms of all sorts of negative things – arrests, jail term length, conviction rates, unemployment rates, shot during routine or minor arrests rates, likelihood to get killed by a cop during a routine traffic stop?

Is that why a former reality TV show host is currently running for President on a platform of anger against the establishment?

Is that why unnecessary and extreme force was used against two black men this week?

Is that why snipers shot and killed police officers in Dallas last night?

Is that why #blacklivesmatter is a movement because too many people have lost hope in the belief that #ALLlivesmatter?   And only  once #blacklivesmatter  will we able to say that NOW #alllivesmatter?

Is that why Britain voted to leave the European Union?   They had lost hope that being part of the EU would give them a better “chance?”

Hope – it is so important to have.

Hope – it’s so hard to see right now.

What can we do?

What should we do?

We all play different roles – how do each of those roles fit into putting hope back in the world?

We are all different – what role is God calling us to as we work to make this a better world?

A world where my son doesn’t have to worry about anything other than a ticket and an unhappy dad if he gets pulled over.

A world where black and white and Asian and Hispanic and…….. can worship together in peace.  

I don’t know in terms of the big picture things – but as one of the people at the Bible Study I attended last night said,  “We all need to work inside our circle to make the world a better place.   To make the world a safer place.  And it needs to start with the church.”

So, as the world swirls in turmoil, what can you do to make your circle a safer place?

What can your church do to make the world a safer place?

Go do something nice for your neighbor.

If you see a police officer today, go out of your way to thank him or her for keeping the peace.

Stand up for the rights of those who struggle.   Reach out to someone today who might  be struggling, especially with all of the events of this week.

Do Justice.

Love Mercy.

Walk Humbly with our God.

TJV