Sunday, August 30, 2015

To Whom Do Lives Matter?

Black lives matter. All lives matter. These truths are understood by anyone who claims to possess a moral conscious.  Nevertheless, the issue of which lives are valued is hotly debated throughout the nation as unceasing episodes of violence seem to negate these foundational truths. Fingers point. Blame is cast. All are in dismay in the wake of a desperate and despairing state of affairs. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that this situation did not occur overnight. 

Perhaps what has not been considered enough is the historical context of our present reality.  We have not considered that the violent acts which have been carried out against a people for generation after generation in this land of freedom and bravery may have screamed in unmistakable tones,  "You don't matter!"  Some individuals have risen above the fray of violence and have ascended the mountain top of realized dreams and of ambitious accomplishment, thus overcoming this damning and devaluing message.  Others, however, have been stirred to not only receive the message, but to embrace it as they no longer possess the power to resurrect long dead dreams. They have become bewitched owners of a hideous message of death and destruction that contributes to the detriment of all people.  It is a message that has penetrated our societal layers so thoroughly that it's venom has even reached inside mothers' wombs! It is a message that demands, "Killing is the only option you have left to achieve any chance of significance.  Since you don't matter - They don't matter, no matter who the 'they' may be! Only in the mutual eventuality of death can you achieve equality."

These messages are lies. They have power, nevertheless, because they originate from hearts filled with anger, pain, disappointment, desperation, grief, sorrow and heartache.   Still, we must relentlessly fight these lies and recognize that to be controlled by them breeds an atmosphere prone to produce an anger that refuses to surrender to the mercy, forgiveness and grace of a loving a merciful God.  Resistance to God's grace and mercy inevitably leads to a lack of forgiveness and grace in the hearts of people and gives way instead to unrestrained hatred, anger, lawlessness and evil.  

It is critical to remember that these lies are of old, having an origin that is found among the earliest humans. We must be cognizant of the reality that while the Word of God declares that all have sinned it also teaches that all have been created in God's image and have intrinsic eternal value as His image bearers.  Because of our Divinely imposed value, we cannot allow poverty, injustice, hatred, being wronged or the frustration that stems from such crushing experiences to drive us to cheapen our view of anyone's  lives, including our own. We must recapture the perspective that truth and righteousness ultimately matter above all else. We must regain and reengage the values that are inextricably linked to those perspectives for everyone's good.  Perhaps then, and only then, will we arrive at a point of thorough understanding that allows us to see that our own lives matter and allows us to be sincerely committed for the care of
others to the extent that their lives matter to us well.

Pressing on for life,


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