We All Matter

It’s been awhile since I sat down to share with you all. No lie, I literally had to wipe the dust from my notebook. (I’m old school, I still write on paper). I’ve been quiet for several reasons; I never want to write for the sake of writing, when I write, I want it to be sincere and not forced. Also, I’ve been busy over the past few months. Back in March, I drove cross country to Ohio with my mother to attend the funeral of our great Aunt, I will touch on that trip in a bit; but moving on, I’ve been back and forth to Dallas, the family drove to Louisiana and Alabama, and I’ve put my house on the market in preparations for my BIG move to Dallas. So, needless to say, I’ve been busy during my extended “vacation” from employment, but the noise from the world is SO loud right now that I can no longer sit quietly and watch without saying something. I was subscribing to the thought process of many people in America right now. What thought process is that? Well let me tell you, This doesn’t affect me. What difference can I make? If you are familiar with me or my blog, then you know I wrote a blog in the past detailing my thoughts on police brutality and the thought process that many black people deal with every time they get pulled over. I shared the reality of the conversations that black parents are having with their children in order to preserve their lives during “routine” police stops. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people who show compassion on this topic. I’m also surrounded by people who “stay woke” on certain topics in the world right now. Many probably don’t know what that means, so let me explain; to be “woke” means people are socially aware, they don’t pretend  there isn’t a problem with race relations or issues on injustice. We as Americans need to wake up and stop pretending like the world is not crumbling around us.

As I mentioned, back in March my mom and I drove from El Paso, TX to Middletown, OH, that drive took us through several states, but only one city and state stands out in my mind, Oklahoma City, OK. We had been driving for almost twelve hours, it was 10pm, and I was behind the wheel while my mom slept. The speed limit was 75 mph and the police were out heavy that night. With that being said, I was super aware of my surroundings, I was driving about 65 mph, both hands were on the steering wheel, etc. I looked in my mirrors and spotted a police car in the lane next to me. I told my mom, “There’s a cop behind me.” She questioned if I was speeding and I told her no, and she closed her eyes again. I put on my blinker and changed lanes (someone had been pulled over and I was in the far left lane), the cop changed lanes with me. I put on my blinker and returned to the left lane and the lights and sirens came on. “Ma, we’re being pulled over!” I said. I’ve never seen my mom wake up from sleep so quickly in my life. “Put both hands on the steering wheel.” That was her immediate response. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking because I had no clue why I was being pulled over. I wasn’t speeding, I had on my seatbelt, and I used my blinkers; why was I being pulled over? So, we both sat eyes forward, my hands on the steering wheel, my mom’s hands visible in her lap, and waited to see why we were pulled over. The police officer came to the passenger window and asked the same question that all cops ask “Do you know why I pulled you over?”  Of course I didn’t know. “No sir, I don’t know.” He proceeded to tell me that in the state of OK you must leave on your blinker for 100ft when changing lanes and I failed to leave on my blinker long enough. Although this felt like a BS stop we went through all the motions: yes sir, no sir, we’re going to a funeral sir, but I really became nervous when I had to get my drivers license “Sir, my purse is under my legs, I’m going to grab it, OK.” The officer was actually a very nice, which many officers are, he didn’t give me a ticket, but I shouldn’t have been scared when I got pulled over. We shouldn’t have to be on our “best behavior” in order to prove we aren’t doing something wrong, but this is the reality of being “other” in America. And, the sad thing about it is, this momentum continues to grow more and more. People are hurting with each passing day. The chasim is growing.

I read daily about people saying, why are we looking at race, why are we looking at gender, why are we looking at orientation? Well, we’re looking at this because these are the people being alienated. These are the people who are constantly being told, “You are not enough.” Who are we, as human beings, to tell another person, you are not enough, you don’t matter because…

This weekend, I was shopping with my sister, and I saw a coffee mug that said, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” This comes from Psalms 139:14. That verse and the following verses state: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well…Your eyes have seen my unformed substances; And in Your book were all written. The days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Psalms 139:14 & 16. This resonates strongly with me because every single one of us was created individually by the Father, and He knows each of us by name. Regardless of our lifestyle or  the pigmentation of our skin, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. As a Christian, that tells me that I am no better than the person next to me. That tells me that there is no race superior to another. Last week, people put on robes and mask and marched because a statue was being removed. A statue that symbolizes oppression, and in my opinion, these are the individuals who want to continue to keep others down. These people spewed ugly, hatefilled words, and spread terrible propaganda. This brought two thoughts to my mind 1) Why aren’t ALL Christians up in arms and disturbed by this. 2) Why are we moving in the wrong direction towards unity? These images were reminiscent of the civil rights movement in the 50s although we are living in 2017. Integration happened 60 years ago, why are we seeing these images resurfacing? Why aren’t we able to see  past how a person looks on the outside and instead look at the heart?

The answer? Because we live in a fallen world. There will never be peace until Jesus returns, but as a Christian, I know how I can make a difference. I can show the love of Christ to others, I can stop throwing rocks from my glass house because I know that I sin and I fall short of God’s glory everyday. As the body of Christ, we need to be hurting because our brothers and sisters are hurting.

My cousin, Danita Jones wrote a very poignant blog last week entitled “The Elephant of Social Justice” over at www.uknowimwrite.com. In her post, she talks about the “whatabout” people, and she hits the nail directly on the head. Take a few minutes to read this sometime this week. Her words stood out even more to me this week when I saw a post on Facebook of a pagan god with the byline, this is the statue we should be removing or something to that manner. It immediately gave me feelings. Yes! We should have this statue removed, and yes we should be upset over the image this statue represents, but it should not be brought up as a comparison. Let’s not forget that just a few days ago there were people physically hurt and one person actually lost their life. Let’s stop with the “whatabouts” as Danita stated and let’s start showing some compassion. Let’s start being the example of Christ. Now is the time to be growing Christ’s army and that can’t be done if we are being selective on who we show His love too.

2 thoughts on “We All Matter

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