The last two weeks have been heartbreaking and mind-boggling on the national scene to say the least. On one hand we have a national tragedy fueled by America’s original demons of hate and racism which led to the death of three innocent people in Charlottesville and the injury of approximately 20 others. This was mixed with the president issuing convoluted statements that left the majority of the country confused and in uproar. The messaging that he left us all with in his statements was that there was an equivalence between people that promote hate and those that condemn hate and promote love. This is totally untrue.
People from all walks of life and religious persuasions may not agree on everything, but we all can agree that love is the most powerful force in the universe. And there can be no evil present when true love is displayed.
Not only did this tragedy happen but there was an allusion to the possibility of pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been convicted of contempt and found responsible for the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. History.
This all happens on the backdrop of the NFL seeming to blackball the former San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He is the only active quarterback that is not on a team’s roster. This stems from his decision to express his first amendment right to freedom of speech and protest. His form of protest was to sit or kneel during the national anthem. His reasoning was to bring attention to the disproportionate amount of police brutality and racism towards minority people as well as the issue of mass incarceration in America.
The saddest issue here is that the NFL is penalizing him for showing and speaking his conscience, but has protocols, research and protections for those suffering from concussions.
With all of this being said, the question becomes, do we as a nation, state, county, community, individuals or corporations have a concussion or a conscience?
In Luke 7:36-50 we are met with a woman who is considered sinful. According to the practices of that time and culture, everything was wrong with this picture. Some of the disciples begin to raise their voices and express their displeasure with what was going on. They began to protest kindness, but Jesus figuratively asks them to consider if they have a concussion. The symptoms are present in their actions. Headaches, nausea, blurred vision, short term memory loss, and confusion. They were confused because they chose to see what they wanted to see. The scene made them nauseas, their anger was causing headaches, they couldn't see straight because of what the woman was doing. She was displaying love to Jesus like they'd never seen for the grace he has shown her. You see she had been a social outcast, but Jesus was kind to her and brought her in from off of the margins. The disciples now, had short term memory loss to the fact that in some senses they too were in her position, but their lives had been changed and they sit with one of the most famous men in the world. So Jesus has to appeal to their conscience’ by telling them instead of looking at what she’s doing, consider what you are not. She was giving to him whereas, for three years, they had only benefitted from him.
We, too, must ask ourselves, do we have a concussion or do we have a conscience? Are we giving to others because God has been gracious to us, or are we just benefitting off of others? Do our ideologies seek to be of service to others no matter their race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation or is it only about what's best and comfortable to us? Do we consider these things or do we suffer the symptoms of concussion? Do we become nauseated and have headaches when interacting and conversing with people that are different than us? Do we seem to see out of blurred glasses and forget that we haven't always been where we are? At some point or another someone else helped us, did us a favor and showed us grace. The divine appeals to our conscience’ to have a heart, show compassion and do what is right by everyone. This week, do good, do no harm and stay in love with the divine.