Burn the ships.
Right now our world feels to many like it is falling apart. Our world literally stopped with the outbreak of covid and then as we are trying to recover from that, another truly senseless grotesque death occurs. A life taken too soon at the hands of hate and callousness.
Hate is such a strong word, and yet what other emotion can give someone the ability to take another life without question or regard. On camera, in the public eye, with no room for justification.
Injustice is not a new thing. It is not a new occurrence. It is as old as humanity. People group after people group across the annals of history have faced hatred and oppression, often at the hands of the people sworn to protect them.
If you don’t know what I mean, I would challenge you to take the time to sit down and read about the children of Israel, read about tribes in the Middle East, study Idi Amin and people of Uganda, the Holocaust. Sit down and learn. Learn about the fear and the grief and the pain. If you grew up reading the Bible, Moses killed an Egyptian for senselessly attacking a Hebrew. And here we sit and watch America seem to unravel. The land of the free. The home of the brave.
Bravery is the willingness to do the right thing even when no one else will.
What is bravery? If you ask my children, bravery is the willingness to do the right thing even when no one else will. I think for too many of us, we have sat by and have shown sympathy, but have forgot what it like to show empathy. It is easy to pity someone but it is another thing entirely to take the time and imagine what it could be like to walk in your fellow man‘s shoes.
If you look up the definition of humanity the first definition is listed as “the human race as a whole”. The second definition is “humaneness or benevolence,” which means being kindly and well meaning. Somewhere along the way we have lost our humanness. We have lost our love for our fellow man in the pit of fear and hate.
The story goes that in the year 1519 Hernando Cortez set out on a mission to conquer the Aztec people. Now, I am by NO means condoning what he was trying to do, but if you follow the story it is said that he told his men to burn the ships. As far as he was concerned, going back wasn’t an option.
Friends, I am by no means perfect, but I would say I was fortunate enough to be raised and grown up in environments with very few blinders on. I lived in cities and went to schools where culture wasn’t isolated to one group. I didn’t know what my friends’ homes were like all the time, but my mom didn’t miss an opportunity. She took the chance at having uncomfortable conversations. She taught me what it meant that it was by God’s grace alone that I was born into the home and life I had. She taught me how to love people. All people... any people. That it didn’t matter your country, neighborhood, color, job, parents, or mistakes you had made. They were God’s amazing creation and were to be loved. They were human. I was human. I was no better and I was just as flawed.
And I am grateful.
I was taught that while God made our humaness the same, our details He made unique to each one of us. It would be a shame to see God’s creation with seeing the uniqueness in the details.
I cannot change a whole people group overnight. But, what I can change is me. I can teach me children. I can start in my own heart and in my own home, turning the tide. Changing generations of injustice has to start with facing ourselves. So, here is my challenge. What if we burn the ships? What if we, as individuals, make a choice to first own our own lack of humanity, however large or small, and then make the conscious decision to make going back no longer an option.
No one else can make the choice to heal our nation.
We have to be brave enough to face our own demons, to burn the ship, and show the uninhibited love that Christ shows us.