This is not a political post
Last night I watched a documentary about some Native Americans. I don't remember what their clan name was but one had asked if mining could make fish sick. "It could!" said the scientist (come to test the land). He also tested the water and people of this town. They had been “relocated” from their land 7 times and refused to leave the last time it was "requested". So the land owners mined copper and gold right on the border of their land. In the process of the half hour show I was in tears to see the damage greed had reeked on this land and these beautiful people, 4 of the main characters in the documentary were dead by the end of the show, I grieved. I repented for the way WE have harmed the earth, and cared so little for those beautiful people whom God created.
This morning I read an article written by Steve Locke called "I fit the description". More tears. I just wanted to find this man and tell him "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry."
I didn't mine for gold next to a native population and poison them, I didn't racially profile and strike fear into this beautiful black man, and I wasn't sorry because I am white. I'm sorry because both of those injuries were done by humans, and I am a human. I associate with the greed and carelessness of the polluters, so I repent. I associate with the Natives, so I grieve. I associate with the officers (there to protect, but clouded in their vision of what is fair and dignified) so I repent. I associate with Steve, so I grieve.
Sometimes I wonder when I cry during worship or when scripture is read, if I look more guilty than others, but I don't care. It's right to grieve what is wrong. It's right to cry because God is so beautiful and holy, and yet He allowed himself to be born to the poor and week. He allowed himself to be broken for us. ~more tears.
I was at a woman’s event once when a man took the stage. To be honest, I'm sorry to say I was a bit annoyed at first. But then this humble man, began to pray for us. He began to apologize for all of the harmful, hurtful, callous things the fathers and brothers and boyfriends and school-mates, and male friends had done. It was one of the most powerful, healing, beautiful things one human has done in a 10 minute prayer time. He didn't say all men are horrible. He just said “I'm sorry. I'm so so very sorry.” There was not a women in the place who was not weeping. Grieving. Forgiving. Healing. Being set free.
There is no us and them. Only us. And God.
There is none righteous, no not one, all have sinned and fallen short.
Just some thoughts. Some that move me to pray. Some that explain my tears. Some that say "I'm sorry", because sometimes that makes it easier (for us humans) to forgive. I have apologized for Christians before. I hope (if I've caused injury in my foolishness) others have done the same for me. Because it's part of loving justice and walking humbly with our God, to desire healing and health and forgiveness for others (even as we long for it for ourselves).
So why did I say: This is not a political post?
Because it's too easy to isolate folks in our mind and disagree with and hate and judge and stand pridefully against them. But we are warned about this. So many warnings. If we are judged in the same measure that we use to judge others, if we are forgiven the way we forgive (in the same way and with the same contingencies) None of us will stand, in the day of judgment. If we are told to judge not, lest we be judged, if judgment begins with the house of God...Wow. Let us rend our hearts and spend some time in prayer.
May He bless you richly dear friend. Thank God that He has been gracious to us. God help us. God forgive us and heal our land.