As the week has continued, I've heard comments from the GLBT community. I've watch Chik-fil-A open its doors and serve those giving blood. I've read text messages between a mother and her son who was killed moments later. I've watched politicians take the opportunity to throw stones at one another, boast of their "knowledge," and pay the required respect to the victims and their families.
Then, today a (Somali) employee in a Walmart store took another employee hostage. It was another bad situation, but thankfully this one ended much better.
My anger and frustration came out when I read a "young conservative" article on Facebook, though. You know the articles. It has a photo and catchy headline that ends with, "you'll never guess what they found." I normally ignore them because "what they found" is never as exciting as what they headline implies. This one, though, I was curious.
Do you know what they found?
ARABIC WRITINGS IN HIS CAR!
That's right. A Somali man speaks a language other than English... knows how to write in that language... THEREFORE...
I mean, the only logical conclusion is that he's a terrorist, right? Who else could POSSIBLY have Arabic writings in their car? It's clearly meant to be a secret message that, if translated, will further prove that every single person with a connection to that region is out to get all of us. Get scared. NOW!
Don't get me wrong. I know the threat of terrorism. I know that there are commonalities that we can't just ignore. And I don't. But, Arabic writing is not a reason to freak out. My goodness. I take my sermon notes in Arabic and speak Arabic to my coworkers at work occasionally. Does that mean that someone looking in my car on a Sunday or listening to me Monday through Thursday should feel threatened? Heavens, no!
Today, I received an email from the President of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, where I'm attending Grad School. He specifically addressed the Orlando massacre and its impact on the GLBTQ community. The following words jumped out at me and I think they need to be taken to heart by every person who calls themselves a Christ-follower.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you . . . .”
This is our call. This is our vocation. This is our witness."
Christians, this is a time when we need to be silent.
Stop sharing your opinion.
Stop waving your flags.
Stop pointing out how amazing Christ is. (Yes...seriously.)
Start showing compassion.
And start building relationships with those who don't love Christ and don't want to know Christ and let them see, by your example, that He's worthy of pursuit.
God's in control. It's time we stopped trying to take His spot.