When did it become acceptable for individuals to judge the value of another human being?
Over the past week, anger has escalated to the point of rage and destruction. What began in Minnesota and then spread throughout America has impacted cities around the world.
But let’s not lose sight of why. It began with a man, whose life was of value because he’d been given that life by a loving God who made George Floyd in His image, the God he chose to follow. A man who had a story worth telling. His ethnicity added depth and complexity I can’t begin to understand because I was born into the majority culture.
I don’t know what it’s like to be afraid to have one of my children leave home, knowing that just because their skin is a certain color, they may be singled out for harassment or unjust punishment. I’ve not been fearful of them running through neighborhoods for exercise wondering if their motives may be unfairly questioned.
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, I’ve not had those fears.
But I’m white.
What I do fear is that we’ve lost sight of the incredible value of our diversity, how each of us, very different in our own right, adds to the beautiful tapestry that is our nation. That judging the worth of others has become a national obsession instead of recognizing how much better we are in our wonderful kaleidoscope of color, experience, and gifting.
We need each other more than we realize.
Nationally we’ve lost sight of the need for respect and responsibility. In an era when managing a social image is more significant that being a person of true integrity, it’s easy to make statements and be critical of things we’ve little to no understanding of. We need new lenses to really see what’s happening around us, pause to learn from those who know what’s really going on, and not fall into the spin many want to put on this.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to consider how to help one another, how to care for those who are not only downtrodden in circumstances but in their hearts because they’re misunderstood or unaccepted?
That’s what God made us for. To live in community, in all its messiness and diversity, its ups and downs, its radical unfairness. He created us to be compassionate to others, to love others as we do ourselves, to see others as more important than ourselves.
To not judge others because we are just as messed up as the ones we like to point fingers at.
What’s happening in our country right now isn’t going to be fixed by politicians condemning what’s happened, by new laws put into effect, by curfews being upheld in problem areas. Those are bandages that don’t heal the wound.
We need heart transformation. Try as we might, we can’t do that alone. We all look at our world through personal lenses that have been adjusted by our stories, our experiences.
We need God to change individually the way we choose to look at those around us. We need Him to change our hearts.
The alternative is more hate, more fear.
Not a place any would call home.