The pregnant woman standing in line ordering at Starbucks who was greeted with “heil Hitler.”
The family with 3 children in a pizza parlor for a family night, watching in disbelief as someone in another family tauntingly yells to several patrons, “Trump is going to clean out some people in this country”
The woman approached at church by a fellow member who thought it necessary to assign her as the representative of the entire black population and vomited all of her solutions on what would improve the lot of black people.
The woman walking a trail, who was approached by a random male stranger on a bike who decided to spit in her face.
These are things that happened to actual friends of mine this week. Not stories found on Twitter. Actual friends.
In different states.
In 7 days.
My emotions have run the gamut – from shock to dismay to fear to anger to disbelief. Many times these emotions mingle together, becoming well-acquainted with one another as they learned to uncomfortably reside together.
And the conversations that have ensued. The discussions. The questions. The accusations.
It’s enough to make a body weary, cynical, hopeless.
That’s where I sat for a couple of days – in hopelessness.
Does God see?
Does God care?
Will He protect? Vindicate?
Will history repeat itself unchallenged, unrepentant?
Each negative event that occurs replays on the reel of my mind. Will this get worse? What would I do in that situation? What if I am with my children?
And the flippant “spiritual “responses used to avoid the discomfort of hard conversations, and dismiss the cares and concerns of thousands, if not millions of people…
“It’s His will”
“Do not fear. Do not be anxious.”
Ahhh. What’s that verse about the timing of words?
“Saying the right thing at the right time is like a golden apple in a silver setting.” (Proverbs 25:11)
These. These “exhortations” did not seem like golden apples. They felt more like poison apples thrust upon me by the hands of those who look like friends, of people who should be friends, should be brothers and sisters, protectors, comforters…
He is reminding me of the basics.
Those words, though inaptly spoken are still true.
And He is slowly, surely replacing the reel. Not erasing it, the images are simply moving away from instant replay. I’m grasping more the importance of “demolish(ing) arguments and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
I am reminded of the ultimate injustice thrust upon Christ and the example He set, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”(1 Peter 2:23) ( Let me just confess now. I ain’t there y’all. I. ain’t there.”
I keep thinking that the more I read and hear, the more I need to divert my eyes, my attitude, my focus, “Fixing my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
And, I do find myself revisiting one of my life verses that has carried me through joblessness, uncertainty, homelessness, loss, and basic all day, every day living. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Words aptly spoken.
By a perfect, Sovereign, ‘in control of everything though I am not’ God.