I have very thoughtful readers. I thank those who took the time to respond to both the hunger issue and the social justice issue. The responses were intelligent and respectful.
COINCIDENCE alert: Last Thursday as my blog on hunger was being posted to you, Jeny and I sat down to read our morning devotion from the Upper Room.
The reading was an honest statement about struggling with God and of all things — hunger.
The author wrote he was doubting God when he saw on television a pitiful scene of a woman clutching an infant who was starving to death. He cried out, “God if you are a loving compassionate being, how can you allow this?”
Suddenly he imagined a tearful God, cradling the mother and child, looking at him and saying, if you are my disciple, how could you allow this?
He went on to say, “My indignation turned to discomfort. No longer could I engage in my smug accusations of God. I am responsible for my role in the face of suffering.”
I was moved by the coincidence and the concept.
With regard to hunger, one friend alerted me to the work of Dan Palotta. He has a different look at non-profits and makes suggestions for their improvement. If you are on a non-profit board he is worth some attention.
Social Justice. I asked for your thoughts about the phrase –all lives matter. Your thoughts covered a wide range of the political spectrum. Some expressed frustration with the current protests and the current approaches to handling the problem of social justice. Another referred me to an article expressing why saying the phrase is offensive and should be avoided. As I said, all of the responses were thoughtful.
In some ways I long to be young again and full of simplicity and certainty — believing my paradigm is the only correct model for understanding and change. But I am not young and in my old age I find the issues to be complex and with many uncertainties.
I am old enough to have observed and experienced the progress in racial matters that occurred as a result of Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. I deeply appreciate him and what he did. One aspect of Dr. Kings work was to have a paradigm or understanding that was above Black vs. white vs. brown or vs. whatever. His view is well stated in the following quote – “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I have tried to live his view. When I walk into a room, I try to see people not race. Currently, I feel social pressure pushing away from that perspective. I feel I am being told I have to see race. I am being told my race is the problem and to even think all humans are flawed is to miss the point of the protests. I read opinions of people who not only think I should be active in support of social justice (which I am) but they also believe I should feel guilty and responsible for the problem.
I had the privilege of very positive early racial experiences. Those experiences and my faith led me to control what I can control and to look for people’s character under their skins. I cannot control the power structures built up by history. I have tried to do what I can as a parent, teacher, administrator, donor, friend and in many other ways, to relate to people within my personal space in ways that improve race relations. I have called out others for their behavior but in ways that I hope leads to change — hopefully not in ways that make me feel superior.
I will continue to try to live out my faith and the vision of Dr. King.