Is God in control?

This year, for those living in America, a new president was elected, it was not pretty. Both candidates drew such ire that many wished we could start from scratch, but such is not in the cards (or the law). Regardless of who was elected half the nation would be more than disappointed.

Since the results were announced there have been protests and riots. Cars set afire, businesses broken into, even a few law enforcement officers have been injured, all by people upset because their candidate did not win. This year it cannot even be contested in the courts as the margin was not close – 51 electoral votes separated the two candidates, far more than anyone anticipated, and in the opposite direction. Many of the protesters appear to be Christians, I say “appear” from their appeals to God, signs, and comments to the reporters, but are they? Or have they become so lost in the quagmire of their daily lives that they have lost sight of what is really important?

Jesus told us that one thing is important – to love the Father, and through that love to love each other, unquestioningly, and completely. To love even our enemy, and to show that love like a light on a stand, for all the world to see. He did not differentiate between ideological and physical enemies, but told us to love everyone because, as with the Samaritan, we do not know who is really a friend and who an enemy.

Jesus also did not get embroiled in the politics of the day, keeping his attention focused on what really matters in life – loving God, and helping others to see the light of God in everyone. We live in a unique time upon this earth and, if you are among the lucky, in a unique cultural environment. We have a voice in our leadership, that does not mean we always get the leadership we want, but we have the opportunity to help select that leadership. Also, our leaders are limited in what they can, and cannot, do. Sure, they can make life difficult for a while, but they cannot take your life away from you, and they can do nothing to harm your immortal soul. Jesus tells us not to worry about those who can do us harm, but to be concerned more about those who can harm our immortal soul.

What has happened here in America (to those whose candidate did not win) is not the end of life, not the end of your immortal soul. It is but a wink in the eye of time. It’s ramifications, passing. It’s effect on his plan, minor. Eight years ago the other half of the population decried the election, but the people survived, the nation survived. Four-eight years from now it will be the same. Our lives may, or may not, be disrupted, but our immortal souls will survive if we but love God and his children, no matter whom they may be.

God is in control.

Black and Blue Lives Matter

My heart is aching. Because all lives matter.

The coward who shot and killed five white police officers in Dallas, Texas did not serve the nation yesterday.  They committed an unjustified and horrific act of violence and murder that took the nation’s attention away from the unjustified murder of two black men – Alton Sterling and Hilando Castile. We cry for their families.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This coward took the nation’s attention away from a peaceful, non-violent protest which had the support and encouragement of local police. He callously took the lives of five brave officers, four of whom worked under a black police chief committed to unifying a police force and community.

“We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting… We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness, between our police and our citizens…Pray for these families. Pray for our strength in these trying times.” Dallas Police Chief David Brown

The three officers whose names have been released pending family notification are Brent Thompson from DART, and Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarrippa from Dallas P.D. We cry for their families.

“This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss. The answer must not be violence; the answer must never be violence. We must reflect on the kind of country we want to build and the kind of society we want to pass on to our children. We must reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor and embrace the difficult work of finding a path forward together.  I ask you to turn toward each other, not against each other.”  Atty. General Loretta Lynch

Now, we are in mourning for more victims. More families. More division.

Last night was an act of pre-mediated murder. During negotiations before the murderer was himself executed by a robo-bomb, he admitted he was angry and wanted to take down white people, especially white officers. He did that, but he also murdered an officer of color and seriously injured a black mother, Shetamia Taylor, shielding her four sons from the gunfire.

The two killings earlier this week were not pre-meditated, but they were certainly murders.

Second degree murder is such a killing without premeditation, as in the heat of passion or in a sudden quarrel or fight. Malice in second degree murder may be implied from a death due to the reckless lack of concern for the life of others. (search:murder,legal dictionary;

This has been a long week for this country. We have seen terrible, senseless things. Every member of this body wants a world in which people feel safe regardless of the color of their skin. That’s not how people are feeling these days…Let’s not lose sight of the values that unite us; let not lose sight in our common humanity. The values that brought those protesters to the streets of Dallas: respect, decency, compassion, humanity. If we lose those fundamental things, what’s left?” Paul Ryan, Speaker, House of Representatives