When I read books about the Holocaust, I’m horrified. I’m heartbroken. I’m left empty. I feel the same when I watch movies or read stories about slave brutality before and during the Civil War or the way people with black skin were treated before, during and after the Civil Rights movement. That part of our history is horrifying for me. It's embarrassing. But I realize it is our history.
And this part of our history is still very, very real to me. I live in a state where the confederate flag is still part of our state flag. I live in a state where I recently went rafting down a river and the drop off location was under a bridge – to which the tour guide said, “Yeah they hung a black man from this bridge.” I. Am. Not. Kidding. I was shocked. I was embarrassed the tour guide even felt comfortable saying those words.
I understand the Civil War is our country’s history and there are many historic figures who were considered heroes in the context of their place in history (for example Robert E. Lee). Hitler was also considered a hero to many, many German soldiers during WWII. And yet, I do not believe you will find statues in Germany honoring or remembering Hitler. In fact from what I’ve heard, society is pretty darn stern about not promoting any part of that horrific history. The history is not forgotten however it is kept in the past. The country of Germany is pretty hell bent on making sure history does not repeat itself and takes an active role in preventing a repeat of the horrific hateful crimes of the WWII era.
And yet, we are struggling in America with our history. More specifically, we are struggling to learn from history and leave it in the past. We do not seem to be fighting against the urge for history to repeat itself, but rather some people seem to be holding so tight to our past that we cannot see it for what it was…horrifying. Some people are trying to keep this hate alive. And what is even more terrifying is there are some people using Christianity as an excuse to keep this hate alive.
Well history helps clear up God’s take on the whole division based on race/religion/ethnicity/lifestyle/etc. matter…history that dates all the way back to the days of the Jews and Gentiles in Ephesus. (How's that for some history?)
Ephesians 2:14-16, Ephesians 4:31
“For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups. Together as one body….Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Let me be clear about the loving God I serve…He doesn't support hate. And I don’t believe He would want us glorifying things which represent hate, even if only to a portion of people.
I also think we need to keep perspective. We are fighting over a STATUE (or a flag). People are dying because of an argument over a statue. A statue that in some regards glorifies hate. How did we get to this point? We are so far from where we should be as a society…it overwhelms my heart. I’m horrified. I’m heartbroken. I’m empty.
A statue, a flag and a broken heart,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.