Lord, the world is in such turmoil. So much pain and so much anger. Some are refusing to think and, instead, reacting instinctively as though they were caged animals being taunted.
We have many people, including one entire race of people, who have been abused and mistreated and no one cared enough to try to help. Whether the target their skin color or sexual orientation or religion or gender or some other difference, they were treated as ‘less than.’
All these folks seek is to be treated fairly and consistently in the same way others are. There has been talk about paying reparations to African Americans for past sins including slavery, and that’s relevant, although I have no answers as to how something that massive might be repaid. In fact, I believe that the main reason most opponents oppose it is the daunting size, cost, and complexity.
But for the purposes of right now, tomorrow, and the future, why is it so hard for some to cede even equality, never mind advantages, to these presently disadvantaged groups of people?
Lord, you are a God of abundance. There is enough for everyone. More than enough.
But sinners either hoard it, waste it, or stridently oppose anyone else getting ‘theirs.’
Jesus, we know that all of everything is not ‘ours’ or ‘theirs’; it’s all yours. And while hard work and talent lead to success, the disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' is far out of proportion. That makes the 'have-nots' bitter and angry and the 'haves' defensive and nervous.
So the 'haves' 'flex' their considerable financial, political, and law enforcement power to keep the 'have-nots' down. Part of the strategy is convincing some groups of 'have-nots' that other 'have-nots' are the reason they have not. ‘They’re taking our jobs!’ ‘There goes our neighborhood!’ ‘It’s not America anymore!’
Any 'have' who supports and defends some 'have-nots' is branded a traitor. People seeking a return of basic decency are denounced and attacked. Most have pure motives, but some surely don’t. The other side finds those who mean to benefit from chaos, who start trouble, and whose motives are impure, and holds them up as the face of the opposition.
If no one is found to be corrupt, they make something up.
And formerly level-headed people believe. Once they believe, their minds close.
When did we become so tribal? In real life, hatred and prejudice have always been part of our country's DNA. It is probably a part of being human that the impulse is there, just waiting for a reason to get out. But I've not seen a political movement gain power - ultimate power - with that kind of bile at its core.
The strategy is similar for both sides. One side brands the other 'White Supremacists,' 'Nazis' and 'KKK.' Their opponents brand them 'Antifa', 'socialists', 'anarchists', and 'terrorists' seeking to destroy ‘our’ country. These (usually) misleading labels are designed to strike an emotional chord in those who are observing, silently being pulled back and forth. The rope in a tug-of-war.
Lord, you know perfectly who is right and wrong down to the most microscopic level. You have no need to group people since you created individuals, not political parties, and not protest movements. You know the hearts and minds of all involved, whether they voice their thoughts or not. Even whether they pray their thoughts or not.
Lord, I trust you completely. Judge the guilty, absolve the innocent and help us make amends for mistakes of omission, where many of us stood silently by and averted our eyes and ears to the pain of our brothers and sisters. Help us be better, more courageous people going forward.
The saying, I think, is something like, ‘Oppression thrives when good men do nothing.’ I have made small efforts from time to time, but if I am honest, my score is nothing. Whether I am a 'good man' or not, I have done nothing.
Lord, teach me to write and say words that heal wounds and unite people. Show me the message that will resonate whether with one person or a million, whichever suits your plan. I trust your timing and your methods and I am hopeful that you can use me in some way to help. I am grateful for that opportunity.
Lord, thank You for your time today and for always having an ear to hear me. Help me to pay attention and to listen for your directions and obey. Thank you for loving me. I love you very much!
In Jesus' healing name, I pray, AMEN!
Jim Donaher is a writer, blogger, and author of the soon to be published, "Call Him, He's Home: Learning Prayer to Start and Grow Your Relationship with God" Click the title to read an excerpt.
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