I have a friend who recently made this statement about me in an email –
“I really don't know what world you're living in sometimes, my brother”
Sometimes I wonder too. Heck, I sometimes even feel like the line from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, -
“I’m making this up as I go along.”
I think a lot of us maybe living life that way, making it up as we go along.
So what is the color of the sky in my world? The usual, just like everyone else’s – chartreuse.
All kidding aside, the comment that was made about my world was in response to a criticism I made about a sermon my friend preached saying that the United States has failed to live up to Dr. Martin Luther King’s ideals. The reason for my criticism and for the subsequent remark made by him was I don’t see the world that my friend sees.
Because of certain events that have happened in my life, it would be easy for me to live in a world that is run by bigoted views and where ignorance is king. If I would let these events dictate to me that certain groups of the human race are deceitful and indecent, then I best go off and live in a cave and say “to hell with the rest of the world.” In other words, become a hermit. On the other hand, I realize that some choose to live life that is narrowed by color of skin. Which is sad. Some will no doubt say that they are entitled to believe this for things that has happen to them whether it’ll be out of paranoia or ignorance or any other suspicious thought. So to make them feel safe, they have labeled any ethnic group other than their own as lesser human beings. Nevertheless, I can’t live like that.
I’m trying to live my life by three principles: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, love your neighbor as yourself, and treat others better than yourself.
Some will say that is very naïve. Others might think I’m some kind of patsy to be taken advantage of. But the truth of the matter is the whole concept of “racism” doesn’t really mean anything to me other than words on a page. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, it does. But if I am living with a philosophy that puts the concept of “God first in my life”, then the only life that matters are the lives that the Lord puts in front of me daily; regardless of skin color, regardless of culture, regardless of anything else that others may see as inferior. It just might be that the person in front of me may need to hear the gospel, may need to hear encouragement, may need a friend, may need to be loved, may need to hear a kind word on a particular rough day, or may be there to help me with a problem. There are numerous reasons why the Lord may lead two people together and any given day. A side thought – think of the blessings that we’ll be missing if we limit ourselves to just the same color people we are.
If we take God at His word, that He created everything, then out of respect for His creation, I must look on it with humility and if that creation is part of the human race, and it is, then that person has the same amount of respect as I have in the eyes of the Lord, so who am I to deem them as a lesser creature?
Last year was a very bad year for my health. I had a total of five hospital stays. The medical staff that took care of me ran the gambit of different races and cultures and religions. If I was a bigot, how could I allow these people to handle me? I mean there’s some kind of intimacy going on when you’re naked and being prodded. And I might add, when you’re all alone in the wee hours of the morning and the drugs are causing your mind to do strange things, it’s nice to know that you have a person, regardless of color, you can call that is there to reassure you that it is the drugs and nothing more.
The bottom line to all of this is we are at a point in the history of America where even if there are pockets of ignorance and plain stupidity, there are areas that character, not color of skin, matters. My job then is to treat all with respect for they are my brother or sister.