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See the Man Not the Trees - Shepherd of Hope

“And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.” – Mark 8:24-25

 

The man holding the Bible up in this group picture is George Floyd. The picture is of the men’s Bible Study group he attended. George Floyd was murdered (yes this was murder) by police in Minnesota recently. I never knew Mr. Floyd. But because he was in Christ, he is my brother. I lost a brother this week. Many of us who call Jesus Savior, we lost a brother this week.

I was shocked and grieved when I saw the video of the terribly heartless and inhuman way the police caused the death of this man. My heart was broken and crushed more when I saw that picture. I read the accompanying description of Mr. Floyd and of the injustice perpetrated against him. I thought “These types of deaths are way too common. They should never happen.”

If you think such racism and injustice is a product of media hype, well, maybe some, but certainly not all. This was not manufactured. You don’t need media comment to that video to see something is deeply wrong with that picture.

It would be unjust to damn all police for the brutality and unprofessionalism of a few felon cops. But there is a seeming willful ignorance in our country regarding this issue. We don’t want to see it. We want it to go away. Yes, we’ve made strides. We elected a Black President. But that’s hardly a healing salve in times like this. We must admit there’s a problem and address the issue. I pray our president takes action. I don’t know what to do. I’ll leave that to people smarter and more informed than me. But something needs to be done.

I can try to understand the hurt and rage that people are exhibiting in response to Mr. Floyd’s (and others) murder. When you see someone die in what amounts to a type of public execution, it’s enraging. But rioting isn’t the answer. I saw another video of a black business owner pleading with looters to stop destroying his life’s work. More heartbreak. Rioting only deepens the wounds.

I do know this though, we (white people?) need to stop stupidly looking for conspiracies a bit and start looking at the definite concrete issues before us. If we don’t, our nation will self destruct. For instance, in the comments included with this photo someone said, “the trees look fake.” I guess they were implying this was a fake doctored photo. I can’t imagine a stupider more insensitive comment than that. If there are rewards for stupidity, buddy, you won. I responded to his comment that he should see the man and not the trees. And then the Lord brought the passage of scripture to mind where Jesus heals a blind man. It states, “And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.” (Mark 8:24-25). I shared that verse to the insensitive one commenting, maybe you need Jesus to open your eyes. Only Jesus can help us see clearly. Only Jesus can help us see men as they really are.

I think that’s really what we all need, all of us. We need to come to Jesus for clarity. We need to seek help from Jesus to see things as they really are. Only Jesus can help us see through the smoke and rage of racism and other injustices. In Christ we are family. In Christ we are one. In Christ is the only effective salve to heal our wounds and do what’s right. In Christ is the wisdom to get the job done. In Christ there is the love we need, the “bond of perfection” to bring us together. In Christ, only in Christ, can broken hearts be mended. In Christ and on His cross is the only answer to the hate and hurt and holy alternative. We need a revival that brings us together in Christ. In Christ, we can see clearly.

Mr. Floyd, to you I say, “Love you bro. Hope to see you soon.” Pray for the Floyd family. And pray for change for the better. Pray for us to see clearly and act decisively to eradicate this plague on our land. Pray for a day when we will never have to see such a video again. God bless you. Pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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