I sit in a Manila hotel in the quiet of the early morning with tears streaming down my face. Some of my tears are joyful ones, reflecting an two weeks of sweet ministry with dedicated and determined human beings, all of whom are committed with unwavering conviction to serving among the most vulnerable in our midst.
Some of my tears, are tears of sadness. Tears that have been generated by seeing very beautiful people ravaged by overwhelming challenges and life setbacks, and in desperate need of resources and opportunities to break the iron grip of poverty's unrelenting tyranny.
Still, other tears flow without ebbing from the deepest depths of my heart, as my own nation reels from undying hatred and fixation on the trappings of that hatred rather than the substance of it. It seems that all the words uttered over all the years and all the actions carried out by the most heroic people of our collective history are seeming to have yielded no fruit in our hearts or environs. It seems we, the people of the United States, are determined to form a more imperfect union, committed to strife and bickering and dedicated to the proposition that we will not forgive!
I cannot live the rest of my life bickering. The Bible says simply that "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." By the wonder of complex human history, my very own DNA reflects that fallenness, as I am the son of slaves and slave owners. As a result, I hate racism and all it entails and the bitter crop it has produced in a neverending harvest of evil. Nevertheless, while I will not cease to call out its savage manifestations, my strongest efforts will be directed towards pursuing that "new birth of freedom" that seeks to build understanding, promote healing and lay foundations for loving and caring among all people.
I understand that pursuing such goals can involve fighting. I am a solider at heart and not afraid of fighting for what is right. Just be aware, my dear friends, that fighting for the right will not, for me, intentionally involve rancid posts or ranting or attacking others. My future, as God allows me to live it, will be a devotion to promoting and creating grass roots efforts to walk alongside of those who are hurting and serving others as Jesus has called me to serve. My time will be spent pursuing good, promoting the general welfare and truly seeking to secure blessings of liberty for all. Not being naive, I am not pursuing Utopia. I am in pursuit of what the Bible presents as the High Calling of Jesus Christ, being conformed to His image in a life defined by loving others and denying self. I intend to walk in this path until my health and intellectual powers fail me or until the Lord takes me Home.
So don't mind my tears. They're just indicators that my heart is still working and my mind's made up to work along with it.
On the battlefield,