Fear, Anger, Lives Matter

My friend called this evening. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s not very social, but deep down he really wants to connect. On the other hand, connections with people are stressful. 

He asked what I was doing. Reading the news, I replied. He said, “I never read the news. Too depressing.” 

I agreed. Said I mostly read tech news.

He’s right about the news. We learn about almost every murder in the world. In fact, it’s always about murder, shootings, rapes, confrontations, hostility, war. “If it bleeds, it leads” was the old newspaper mantra. That’s even more important in this 24-hour constant news cycle where eyeballs on the screen are crucial to financial success. (I was in the business.)

Inundation of stories of killing raises fear in the hearts of many. Fear often plays out in anger. We have lots of anger in the world. Even in America where things are really pretty good (don’t tell my Facebook “friends” that, they glory in bad news).

It seems everything gets politicized. Every life matters to God. But some people think that Black lives don’t matter to the white majority in this country. So, we get another bumper sticker slogan. Which leads good Christian conservative people to counter with “Blue Lives Matter” (policemen).

I’m not following all the election stuff very closely, but I will admit to having occasional nightmares about a Trump/Sanders election. Where would the other 75% of the voters go?

None of this helps the discussion. Where is the peacemaker when we need her? 

John Fischer wrote on The Catch “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” He pondered the thought about what would have happened in the 60s with the pent up anger and frustration of black people without the non-violent leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. Think of the riots after he was killed.

I read my Facebook news feed (more infrequently now) and see anger, fear, racism. I know most of these people. If asked, most would deny being angry, fearful, cynical, racist. But their words belie them.

Bill Hybels expressed his wish of the same thing last Sunday following a talk on race relations at Willow Creek. Our church stands firmly for good relations among those of various races, he said. “If you don’t agree, don’t let the door hit you in the back on your way out.” He’s just that strong–and concerned.

It’s not one of Richard J. Foster’s 12 Spiritual Disciplines, but I view peacemaking as a Spiritual Discipline–or Practice, if you wish. 

I’m way too low key. Most of my “talking” is with my fingers on a keyboard. Those of us who have perspective and take Jesus seriously for what he told us, need to step up the game.

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