Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The 2 Things Baltimore Won't Let Us Ignore

Everybody has an opinion on all that has transpired in Baltimore over the past few weeks. Should it be called protests or riots? Who are the bad guys? How do we fix it?

There are lots of posts all over social media with deeply passionate opinions about what has gone on and what it all means. There’s a reason that the scenes from the streets of Baltimore have resonated so deeply with so many. We may disagree about a lot of what is happening, but here are two things that that are indisputable:

1)Things Aren’t The Way They Should Be

Everyone can agree on this. We don’t all agree on why things are messed up, but there is no denying that things are messed up. People are suffering. Injustice is rampant. Some scream that the protesters have created their own misery with their bad choices. Others scream just as loudly that the system has let the people down, that there aren’t enough good choices for them to make. Whichever camp you fall in with, we can all agree, things are bad. We know this for them, because we know it’s true for us. No matter how good we have it, we all understand that things aren’t all they could be. Things seem broken in ways that we can’t overcome. Things are broken in the world, but more terrifying than that, things are broken inside of us.

2)There’s a better way available.

Everyone also feels a discontent with the way things are. There is a better way to live. There are better options. There are solutions to be had. Some would say that money would solve many of the problems, others say better education. Some say that stronger enforcement of the law would settle things down and keep people safe. Whatever solution you believe in, we all believe that there is a solution.

Those who are protesting are doing so because they believe there has to be a better way. The story playing out in Baltimore speaks to a discontent present in us all. This story has tapped into another story that the Bible has been telling for thousands of years. The Bible teaches that a broken condition overcame the world and all its people. The brokenness was called sin. It began as choices, but it spread like a virus until everything was broken and in a condition that it wasn’t meant to be in. We live in a world that isn’t all it should be, and everyday despite our best efforts we contribute to the brokenness.

But there’s a better way. There’s something more available. The Bible goes on to say that God hasn’t left us alone in our destruction. He is calling us to lives of justice and hope. We can be forgiven for what we have done and what we have left undone. We can be part of a solution instead of remaining part of the problem. That’s why the actions in Baltimore stir us so greatly. Because the story we are watching on the news is our story too

Isn’t it interesting that we were born craving justice? No one has to teach a 2 year old that people shouldn’t take their toys. They know it inherently. They scream the second their teddy bear is ripped from their arms.  I believe that God has given us reminders of how life can be, and what we should be. He invites us back to all we can be with him. That is the heart of Christianity. Not random rants about homosexuality or evolution, but a passion for healing, and a quest for justice. A quest that’s bigger than we are, but one that God has called us to nonetheless.

You can’t bring justice to the entire world today, but you can bring it to your neighbor. You can bring justice to your work place. There’s a place where you can make a difference right now. Someone without a voice needs you. Will you see them? Will we sacrifice our comfort for their well-being? You have more power to change your world than you ever imagined. You were made for days like this.

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