The Path to Peace

pT5e4eapcI have written about this a number of times, but it is more pertinent than ever that it be reiterated.

We live in times of great uncertainty and that uncertainty is rooted in fear. Fear of the future, fear of losing the comfortable paths of the past, fear of people who are different from us, and ultimately, fear of losing all that is familiar and being thrust into a world we did not ask for or want.

We are strongly tempted to cling to the past as though we can project its peace and security into the future by holding on to it. We do this in spite of the world falling apart all around us. We turn a blind eye to reality and grasp ever more firmly onto those things which are even now fading away before our eyes.

This week it became more apparent than ever that this is not simply an American problem. It is world wide, and the majority of the human race is in the grip of this fear. Falling markets, declining values, listless workers; everything points to the utter failure of human culture. There is no time in this brief essay to delve into or discuss the causes or reasons, for they are legion. I only wish to do one thing here, and that is point a clear way out.

I have said many times that the opposite of fear is not bravery. Bravery is doing something heroic in spite of ones fear. Not being afraid in the first place is quite a different thing. And, there is only one way to dispel fear: genuine, authentic, vibrant, love. Love is the exact opposite of fear and where it exists, fear cannot thrive.

We are beyond the point of no return. We have extended ourselves beyond the place where petty matters are relevant. There is no longer time to discriminate based on skin, religion, culture or anything else. Literally NOTHING, at this point, is more important than uniting behind our common humanity. We can argue point after point after point and we will sail ourselves and the whole human race into oblivion by our stubbornness and arrogance. We must leave the ways of fear behind and love one another. We must work for the common good. We can afford no less and we owe no less to our neighbor, our brother, our sister, our fathers and mothers.

Perfect love casts out fear, for where there is fear, love has not yet been made perfect.

It is time for honesty and humility, for grace and mercy, for love and kindness. Biases be damned. Opinions be damned. Do what is good and pure and clean and loving. Do not demand anyone conform to your criteria, simply do good to others. Forget “tough love.” The time for that is gone and what is needed now is love plain and simple.

Whatever your religion, you are obligated to love one another. Whatever your culture, you have been taught to be kind. Do it indiscriminately. Love and be kind to all alike, it makes no difference who or what they are.

God bless us all.

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Confession of a Southern Gentleman 

This is a post that is difficult for me to write. It is difficult because it is shameful. 
I was born in Georgia to a very traditional southern family. My family has roots in Henry County that extend back to a land grant by King George. My parents and other relatives still live in the county. 

The “war of northern aggression”, as it is called by all true southerners, is deeply considered to be a point of pride and heritage. We look fondly back to the “good ol’ days.” 

But, to my shame and sorrow, I confess, that racism, however sugar coated or ignored, is part and parcel of who and what we are as southerners. I have to say, it’s practically impossible to grow up in a southern family without being infected. 

For years I lived in ignorance of my own racism. Or justified it as a joke. While I never went so far as self conscious racism, I admit, I have had an incipient superiority idea toward my black brethren. 

The thought of removing the confederate flag from public display makes me sad; but it is a sadness of which I repent. I have come far in the past 10 years toward understanding my own prejudices and biases. Therefore, I confess publicly that I am guilty of racism. I repent. 

I affirm the inherent dignity and goodness of every human being and their equality before God and man. The color of ones skin, the having come from a different culture or having a different language is of no import whatsoever regarding the dignity of any person. All are equal in every regard.

For my own sin of racism I wish to make reparation to any I have offended or hurt whether deliberately or unknowingly. I pray Almighty God will give me grace to be humble, quiet and at peace with all men. 

For our country, which has never known a day when prejudice and racism did not hold sway, I pray LORD have mercy. Deliver us from this abomination. Save us from our sins. Bring light and life to this dark place in our hearts and cause us to see Your glory in the face of all men and women. 

May racism find it’s rightful place in the pit of hell and may God deliver us from it’s perpetuation on earth.