Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way…
What the hell…?
People…what are we doing?
I have to admit, I started this blog a week or two ago. I had some anger, some questions and a few curse words. I pulled back and didn’t hit publish because, well, my mom would kill me if she saw those words in print.
But today, we are talking about skittles. SKITTLES.
Unfortunately, in this country, we have a lot of our own ‘skittles.’
We have a presidential candidate more concerned on building concrete fences then living out what the Bible he claims to read says to do.
We have a nation of people in our streets who don’t know how to deal with the feelings of the heart, but know the feeling of a trigger momentarily makes them numb, and numbness outweighs emotions.
We have an issue between our men in blue and our men of color, where anger and rage reign over understanding and fighting for a resolution, both drowned out by the gunshots that have killed too many.
And we have a country of children, sons and daughters, watching us continue to go down this road, teaching them that you look out only for yourself, keep an eye on those that are different from you and to be safe…associate only with your kind.
Then this week, we saw Donald Trump, Jr post this graphic on his social media.
The picture at the top of this blog, of a small Syrian boy in Aleppo minutes after his family home was bombed.
Look at this picture. He’s not scared. He’s not crying. He’s not reaching for someone. This kid is absolutely stunned. He has no idea what is going on in the world around him. Everything, minutes before, was falling down around him, and there he sits, with cameras in his face, and medical personnel running quickly to grab as many as they can to get the help they need.
This kid is classified as a Skittle today.
He’s a damn kid man…not a number or a object lesson to push an agenda on either side.
(insert angry rant and curse words here).
This kid is my 6-year old child. He hasn’t learned the cruelness of this world. He hasn’t learned that he’s supposed to hate that kid down the street or people in that other country. He hasn’t learned yet that death marks victory or that the words of the religious sometimes completely go against the book they claim to protect.
I sat there watching this video that day, tears streaming down my face. Big shocker, I know. I wanted to just hug this kid…tell him he wasn’t alone. I thought of Jovi. I saw her face in his. Her innocence. Her beauty. Her heart and love for others. And how in that moment…a bunch of cowards took that from him.
And then I thought of my friend.
I have a friend, a guy I truly admire, named Martin. Martin is a former missionary who decided to dedicate his life to bringing Muslim and Christians together. He does life with them, brings them to church on occasion, takes Imam’s to major Christian conferences, celebrates Muslim holidays with them…all while getting little support in return and watching some Christians turn their backs on him because of the people he chooses to associate with.
Man, do you really need anymore of an example of Christ than what he is doing?
This is his calling…his passion. He has taught me more how to love in our few talks than I could ever imagine. How to engage with those on the outside, be an advocate and just do the simple act of love. And I can’t tell you the pain I see in his eyes when he talks of Christian friends that turned their backs on him when he expressed his desire to be a catalyst for peace…to see others as people and not as a stereotype. I don’t get it. Especially when this is preached from our pulpits…
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Martin told me something once that has stuck with me. When in the face of scrutiny, his response is to “Stop Othering People.”
Imagine that. A place where we stop ‘othering’ people on race and ethnicity, religion, sexuality, conservative or liberal and the countless other areas in life we place people and we do a simple simple thing…just love.
I mean…I guess I can put it another way
If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
But hey…keep picking through the skittles. In the meantime, I’ll grab a handful and take my chances.