The unrest in Charlottesville, VA fills me with such grief. Grief at the fact that people are so hurtful towards each other. Grief too that many people think that the ends justify the means. If we want peace, we must be all about social justice. But how far does one go to promote "social justice?"
Does tearing down a statue promote peace? Wouldn't it be better to change people's hearts through love and loving actions instead? Then again, I am reminded of how Ronald Reagan, when he was president of the US, admonished President Gorbachev, leader of Russia to "tear down this wall!" in reference to the Berlin Wall... a wall that separated so many from their loved ones That pretty much was the end of the Cold War and life in Europe. Once down, it was hoped that peace would finally reign. However, any idea of "peace" was short lived as there was now a vacuum, a void of leadership that was replaced once more by factions, regimes and dictatorships.
If you want peace, promote social justice. Justice begins in our hearts, in our minds, in our SOULS! "If you see a man with no coat, offer him one of yours," Jesus told his disciples. (Luke 3:11). Jesus showed us time and again how to love others, thus His stories about the prodigal son, the woman at the well, the Good Samaritan. Love, love, love. Even later, the Apostle Paul, who at first, was all about tearing down the Name of Jesus, converted and became Jesus' greatest champion, even as he sat in prison under the worst conditions. What an example of a pure heart!
Love. It means to show tolerance towards all. At the grocery store, while waiting in line, sitting in a traffic jam, donating your time, talent or treasure towards a worthy cause. It means smiling at a stranger. Holding that door open just a bit longer than necessary. It means admitting compassion towards the homeless. To an alcoholic. To an addict. A homeless beggar has the same amount of dignity as any head of state. Yet we pay more attention to "celebrities," (awww....so-and-so just died of cancer!") than we do the neighbor up the street, who also had troubles, but we paid them scant heed.
Tolerance means we accept people no matter their color, creed, gender, race, religion. We accept them for the faults they have, because we also have our own faults. We love them right where they are. They don't have to prove anything to us, because we also have nothing to prove. We are no better than they are. No better at all! We do not sit in our Ivory Towers, looking down at others, comparing ourselves to them. We came into this world naked, poor and crying and we will go out of this world the same way. we all have 206 bones and bleed red. The only thing that separates us is our ideology...our ways of thinking. This takes us back to where this all began...of how hatred separates us. And as it separates us from each other, it also separates us from God. Like any parent, as God watches His children fight and kill one another, He grieves. If you have any empathy at all, you grieve as well.
Today, look over your life. Note the baggage that you may carry, no matter how small. Others also carry baggage of varying sizes.Whose baggage will you also carry...how far will you walk with another?
The answer should be--must be: all the way.
May you have a blessed day! May God be with you and bring us all peace.