Stop means stop. Right?

I really try not to focus on political unrest in our country today. But last Sunday’s silence nearly deafens me.

A white guy went into a primarily diverse Wal-Mart in El Paso and killed more than 20 men, women, and children. Hours later another white man killed 9 people in Ohio. Dozens more critically injured.

Lives changed forever.

And, I think of Jesus’ words a sparrow doesn’t fall from the heavens without the Father knowing. Ubiquitous sparrows.

I don’t think mental illness had a thing to do with it. Evil is evil and racism is evil. Let’s call a spade a spade here.

Since then pictures of white men armed to the hilt are being seen all over the internet. I wonder what would happen if a law-abiding, U.S. citizen, Hispanic or black man would enter a Wal-Mart armed to the hilt? Each has the right to carry weapons. Each has Second Amendment rights as well. Would this make us as comfortable as we seem to be with armed white men.

When white men are the perpetrators of mass shootings?

(Do not get me wrong, this is not a treatise against white men.)

We went to Northpark Mall yesterday. It’s back to school time. Thousands of people were there shopping on tax-free weekend. I couldn’t help but be a little scared.

Diversity was the name of the game. Languages of all kinds, women dressed in Muslim attire and barely anything at all, men from all walks of life.

I could only imagine that this could be what heaven looks like.

Yet, on this Sunday, I want to stop. Just stop.

Because I cannot afford to look the other way. We have to look with the Psalmist and say:

Examine me, and probe my thoughts!
Test me, and know my concerns!
See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me,
and lead me in the reliable ancient path!

Psalm 139:23-24, NET

Idolatry is putting my way of life as the end all and be all of my daily and moment-by-moment focus. The reliable ancient path! Wow.

Love God with my whole heart and mind, and my neighbor as myself is that ancient path. I hope that I can achieve it.

Yet, racism is deeply imbedded in our culture and I have to root it out, not just clip off the head of it and say, “I’m not a racist.” Root it out. Surrender it to God. Admit that the human condition places us all in a place to other people, dehumanize them. Then, admit to myself that I have tendencies to not want to love God with my whole heart and to want to avoid and dismiss my neighbors.

God loves us all. He died for us all. His death and resurrection are the answer and it begins with his people. Because his people strive to become Christlike.

And being Christ was never easy. ❤