I have started this blog post like 6 different times today. No matter what approach I try to take on all of the things happening in the world today, I keep coming back to the cross. That’s the best answer I can come up with. Do you have to shoot someone in the face when they are unarmed? I don’t think so. Do you have to strangle a man to death for selling cigarettes on the street? I don’t think so. Did a man have to be beaten with hammers in the street? I don’t think so. Hasn’t there been enough injustice floating around in the world? Very much so. Have we seen the end of it? I don’t think so. The frenetic levels of racial tension are creating some interesting discussions, especially in social media. I tend to stay away from those. It’s not that I don’t have thoughts and opinions about what is going on in our world. That’s not true at all. It is mostly because I spend a lot of time watching people. I watch to see how people respond to the things happening around them. Difficult times seem to draw out the true colors of man, and those colors help you to know where people stand. That is the most difficult thing about all of this from my position. Why? Because the cross isn’t black or white.
See, I personally see some major trust issues in all these situations. For black people, there is a lack of trust in the law based (pretty accurately, I might add) on history. For white people, there is a belief that anyone that hasn’t made it to whatever level they have achieved must not be trying hard enough. Black people think that everyone is against them. White people believe that everyone else is lazy and don’t want to do better. A lot of this stems from the fact that there are very few relationships between those particular parties. I grew up in University City. I remember playing basketball, baseball AND football in the street with the police in my neighborhood. Black and white. They knew our names and we knew theirs. Most importantly, they had our trust. I knew who I could expect to see if something went down in my neighborhood. So I come from that side of having trust in the people that patrol our city. Does that mean I was always treated fairly by the police in my neighborhood? Not at all. I can recall many times where I was judged harshly and actually not believed by police. I can assure that that none of those times involved the police that took the time to know me. Why do I share that? I share that because it wasn’t about race. It wasn’t about anything other than relationships. I have a much better time trust people that I know. If I’m in a situation that I don’t know my surroundings, I’m going to naturally be a little bit more on edge. Probably more than I should be, seeing that I scare a lot of people just by waking up and walking around. But that’s another story… Before I started writing this, I ran across and article by NBA analyst Kenny Smith that he wrote to Charles Barkley. I love it because he said pretty much what I have been feeling about this the whole time. You can read it here.
Problems arise when we put anything above Christ. I cannot be more black than I am Christian. Whenever that happens then I’m not focused on the cross. Because the cross isn’t black. I can’t care more about anything more than I care about the cross. Neither can you. It won’t work. You may be tired of the injustice that is seemingly running rampant in this country. You may not understand why everyone is so bitter. You may be married to or related to an officer. But none of those things can overshadow the cross. Once they do, your judgement is severely clouded. Mike or Eric or Trayvon or Zemir were not the first people to die from unjust surroundings. And unless something changes in the next 15 seconds, they won’t be the last. Injustice remains. Profiling remains. Misunderstanding remains. All of these things remain in our world. Why? Because it’s the world. I can’t expect the world to be anything different. Much like I don’t expect my daughter to be a boy, I don’t expect the world to act like I expect Christians to act. But I do expect Christians to act like Christians. And what should they be doing? Looking to the cross. Why? Because the cross isn’t black or white.