By now just about everyone has heard about the verdict in from the Grand Jury on the Michael Brown death. What will be amazing is that many people who will not bother to listen to or read the information that comes from the Grand Jury will know much better than those 12 people who sat through over 70 hours of testimony in the case. Organizations across the nation all know better than the Grand Jury. In many ways it is like the Monday morning quarterback after the game who has all the answers while sitting in his easy chair. "If only..." "They don't know the truth..." and a whole host of other statements will be made. People will little or no knowledge about the situation will know better than those involved. That is the way of the world. No one know better than me. I know that I am as guilty of that as anyone. We all do it.
In the end, we need to accept the verdict and go on. But that can't and won't happen. We saw that last night in Ferguson and across the nation. There are reports of protests taking place across the nation. What amazes me is that these protests range in size from a couple dozen people to thousands. Yet we have spent a huge amount of time and resources to give these organizations free press time. We have opened the door to the organizations to tell the Grand Jury they were wrong. We are spending hours and hours on this whole thing.
I was looking at pictures of the protests. Signs like "Black Lives Matter" were held up. Of course black lives matter. All lives matter. So do the lives of the police officers (black, white, hispanic, etc.) who are putting their lives on the line while these protesters put the officers lives on the line. Don't the officers lives matter? Does a protester have the right to threaten the life of a police officer jsut because he is a police officer? Doesn't his life matter? Such signs are double standards. While the signs "black lives matter" are held up, black and white lives are being taken by gangs members who shoot people over drug deals, robberies and a whole host of other reasons. Every morning in the St. Louis area there are news reports of another shooting, knifing or murder that took place over night. Don't those lives matter? Why are the protesters not in the community protesting against those actions, telling the people of the respective communities that "black lives matter"? That is were the real problem is to be found.
I was disgusted as I looked at the pictures from the protests and saw a sign saying "Police are racist murderers." Really? How does that help? There are thousand upon thousands of police in this country. Are they all racist murderers? Of course not. All that sign was meant to do is inflame an already explosive situation. I was offended by such a sign. Yet, I am not supposed to be offended. If I was to protest such an action, I would probably be called a racist. Really? Is not the person holding the sign being the very thing I would be accused of? Of course. But because of the color of his skin, it was all right.
I guess you can say I am ranting this morning. In a way, I am. How did the Grand Jury verdict justify the rioting (not peaceful protests at all) and the looting that took place overnight? What gives someone the right to burn down a business just because they disagree with a Grand Jury verdict? Think of the lives that have been ruined because of the actions last night. These peaceful protests were not peaceful nor were they protests. They were violent acts of aggression against people who had nothing to do with what was decided. They were opportunists who used this as a chance to get crazy, steal, and destroy. How many of them were not protesters at all but were gang members getting what they wanted from the community?
All right, I am at the end of my ramblings this morning. As I watched all that was taking place, I wondered how God could still love us. And then I realized, that is why God sent His Son into the world, for Michael Brown, for his family, for Darren Wilson and his family, for the community of Ferguson, for the rioters, for the looters, for the racists, for the haters, for the people who speak out of anger and hatred, for the ones who act out of ignorance, for you and for me. It is for this reason that He sent His only-begotten Son. The only message that can heal a community is the message of the Gospel. No other message can heal, can save, can give hope.
Only the Gospel. May that be proclaimed.