Politics Missions Posted June 25, 2020


Being at a hospital all but drains you of your ability to function at a basic level.

That's where I was last December after my mother fell into a coma. I couldn't work. I couldn't eat or sleep. I couldn't decide between ginger ale and root beer. Every cubic inch of my mother's room that wasn't occupied by terrified friends and family was filled with a terror wholly unique to them in which no other person had any power to comprehend.

That is why — when my mother's "best friend" decided to show up — nobody rebuked her for all the insults she was throwing around. She resorted to talking flak about my late father in an effort to wake my mother up. God knows I wanted to give her a piece of my mind, but she knew she could get away with it. I never met someone whose bitterness in their heart was so horrible and deep that it actually broke through to the other side to become a sort of fear-proof exoskeleton.

To further prove her complete disregard for anyone else, she strong-armed my sister out of her half of our mother's inheritance. For days — weeks even — I was imagining all the things I could do to retaliate. But they ended up becoming so twisted that I ended up scaring myself a little. I realized that I was becoming just like this person — hollowed out on the inside and reinforced with hatred until hatred is all that they were. That is my vision of hell... and sure enough, that's exactly what 2020 has proven itself out to be.

George Floyd is a name we will all know of until the day we die. He is immortal now. I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said about his unjustified death, and I think nearly all of us can agree that racism needed to be addressed ages ago. But the solution requires hearts and wounds to be healed, and that’s the exact opposite of what's happening right now.

I must ask... does the name Calvin Horton Jr. ring any bells? He was fatally shot near the police department's Third Precinct in Minneapolis, and was probably the first death since the riots and protests began. What about David Dorn, Barry Perkins, or David McAtee? What about Dorian Murrel, Italia Kelly, Marquis M. Tousant, and many others who have died so far? There's more of them listed than the number of victims from the Columbine massacre, and most of them are African Americans. Surely those lives matter too, right? Of course they do. So how can more than two dozen deaths nearly destroy us twenty years ago, and yet barely get a rise out of us now?

The difference is that Columbine happened during a time when people could still feel things, and when tragedies weren't constantly happening. There have been 266 school shootings since then (UPDATE: Over 320 as of May 28th, 2002), possibly more by the time you’re reading this. Aside from Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech, I couldn't name a single one of those 266, and I suspect that you can't either. Chicago just suffered it’s deadliest weekend ever, and it disappeared from headlines the very next day. It takes something extraordinarily heinous to evoke anything than a mere shrug from us anymore.

Does Floyd's murder fit the bill? Absolutely.

Did it get us riled up? For the most part, yes.

But is that leading to any meaningful change? I really don't think so.

Let's look back at the second-worst year in recent memory — 2016. In a election that supposedly determined the fate of humanity, "Did Not Vote" won 44 of 50 states. Isn't it a teensy bit conspicuous how many people have been willing to put themselves in physical (and not to mention biological) danger at a protest instead of embracing the tedium of real-world policy change? Add the unprecedented levels of violence, murder, vandalism, looting, and downright absurdity happening right this moment... and you have to wonder:

Are most people out there in this for the cause or for the fight?

Deep down inside, you know the answer.

I’m sorry, but I don't have a happy ending for you this time. There’s a difference between not giving a damn, and not being able to give a damn. There is just too much tragedy to compute. The human brain can only grieve so much before it begins to overload, and eventually you just have to shut down. Many of us are already hiding from the horrors to make it through the day, no matter how many horrors there actually are. But there will come a day when we no longer have that luxury. Someday, maybe soon, maybe even right now... we won't be able to feel anything at all. I still have an obligation, as a Christ follower, to continue building things that everyone can benefit from and will help advance the Kingdom of God. It’s the only thing I know where I can still feel like a whole human being. But even the Bible says the last days will be filled with coldheartedness.

Has now ever felt more like a possibility? And are you prepared for what’s really coming?