BY JANICE EICHOLTZ
I am a thinker. Sometimes, an over-thinker. Thinkers are people who consider all sides to a story. The inner workings of this mind is constantly analyzing everything - exhaustively examining everything. A word or tidbit will get under my skin and I will dissect it and not let it go until my mind has found some sort of solution or reconciliation.
When I was younger, it was all very egocentric. I would replay conversations in my head and get my feelings hurt over some perceived mistreatment. I made mountains out of molehills and constantly held my friends and family to levels of loyalty and perfection that they could never live up to. Finally, God saw fit to give me temperance. Praise God!! Now, I have the comfort of knowing that most people's reactions and actions are also egocentric. We are all the center of our own worlds and our views definitely represent our own baggage. I've lain a bit of my baggage down, little by little through the years. Still have more of it I need to relinquish-but all in good time.
The bottom line is that people don't typically mean to hurt other people. Hurting and wounded people hurt others out of their own brokenness - but not very many folks actively seek to hurt others out of meanness... unless they have never known anything except mean, which is another matter altogether. It is important not to take our hurts to heart, but to take them to God. This is why I believe God tells us in Matthew 5:44 and again in Luke 6:27 to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us. It changes our perspective. We begin to view the world through other eyes that aren't ours. To walk a mile in their shoes, so to speak. It's hard to hate someone you are praying for. Not impossible... some people are really challenging in every way.
The state of the world today is reminding me, daily and sometimes hourly, that I am thankful for a God who can redeem this fallen world. However, I don't believe I get to stand by and wait for that day. The latest events are a call to action. It isn't enough to simply pray and trust God, we must battle in big and small ways for our neighbors. The enemy is the same enemy it has always been: EVIL. Fear is so prevalent that it is giving evil a foothold that is tearing our country apart. (Isaiah 41:10) "Fear not" is found all through the Bible because God knows the power that fear has. We are powerless, but not without power. We each have the power of God’s goodness within us. We have to step up and use it.
Half of our country has made black people the enemy, the other half has named the police the enemy. Neither is true. EVIL is alive and well and seizing the hearts of our people. PLEASE do not allow fear to grip you in such a way that you begin to see 'all black people' or 'all police' in a certain way. We are all individuals with individual hearts and thoughts. People are NEVER the enemy. Don't allow unwholesome talk to come out of your mouth. Stand up when wrong is done, no matter who was the wrongdoer.
In addition, we must also admit that this nation is lashing out against its black citizens in a way that is very unfair. The SYSTEM has prejudicial flaws that need to be fixed. We must also admit that the backlash against the police is very unfair. They are in the trenches, being put in dangerous situations every time they go to work. We have created two target groups of good people, it is beyond unfair.
Promote love and unity every way you possibly can. Be intentional, show kindness to everyone wherever you go. We are called to be salt and light in a hurting world. We have to actually have to engage the world to do that. Go out of your way to show love and kindness to black people and policemen. They are both wounded and persecuted right now and they need our love and support. Stand up when you see someone being mistreated.
Sometimes we have to involve ourselves in situations when we would rather not. Get out of your bubble and help make the world a better place. Confront racism wherever you encounter it. Show kindness to police and security staff wherever you go - you can be a catalyst for change! Fight the fear with love and kindness. We all have a role to play - BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD!! LOVE GOD. LOVE PEOPLE.
Janice Eicholtz is a Christ-follower that loves to laugh and thinks she is funny, so please laugh at her jokes! She and Erik, her husband of 21 years, have THREE teenage girls. She is a substitute teacher by day and a recovering supermom all the time. Her hobbies include nature walks, audio-books, writing, and Netflix. Follow her at her blog, ChefJanice.blogspot.com and contact her on Twitter via @janjanmom.