“ 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21 (NIV)
(Our sweet Mimosa - a Haitian orphan living in the Dominican Republic)
In light of this past week’s events of yet more violence in our country, I watched a news conference of one black mother of five boys give her testimony of how a Dallas police officer threw his body over her and one of her sons to shield her from the onslaught of gunshots firing straight at them. She was shot in the leg and could not move to protect herself or her children. With tears in her eyes, she thanked the multiple police officers who made every effort to save their lives, knowing that these were the very people specifically being targeted by the gunmen. One pundit stated, “This lady has done more to heal the divisions in this nation than anyone else during this time.”
One voice. One person.
There were riots and protests in many cities and towns this past weekend, mine included. One of Reed’s friends decided to attend our local protest. When I asked Reed why his friend was going, I added, “Doesn’t he realize the potential for violence tonight?” He replied, “Yeah, but he just wants to be a part of what’s going on.”
My family has been privileged to get to know some amazing children in an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. We have become friends with them, their house parents and the church who works with them. Over many visits to their community, we have seen first hand how they are cared for by the people who love them and treated by the community who continually looks down on them, all because they are orphans. On my last visit there, I personally witnessed the school principal and her assistant insult, berate and laugh at three of these innocent children. It broke my heart, and I found it impossible to stop my flow of tears as I rode away from the school. One of the Dominican young men who had lived a similar life as these children was riding with me and kept looking at me in surprise. He finally said, “Miss Missy, this is normal behavior here. I was talked to like that my whole life.”
There is much injustice in this world.
(Cole and Albert at the orphanage - buddies for life and beyond)
After the initial shock wore off, I wanted so much to turn the truck around, march back into that school and give those women a good tongue-lashing. But the following scriptures kept playing over and over in my mind. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for that.
“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” II Thessalonians 1:6-7
“If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Luke 6:29
This goes against everything in our human nature. We want justice to be served immediately, and when it isn’t fast enough for us, we are irritated, impatient and sometimes moved to irrational behavior.
Watching the news this morning, I am emotionally moved by the demeanor and integrity of the Dallas Police Chief, David Brown. He understands that violence will not heal his beloved city. He was personally responsible for the safety of his fellow police officers, and they were targeted and murdered on his watch. He has a very personal motive to see immediate justice served upon these perpetrators. Yet, he is calling for patience, healing and love.
This morning he stated, “I’ve tried to get to every one of my police officers and tell them how much I appreciate them, but this force is large, and it’s hard to get to everybody. So, if you see a police officer, grab them and hug them and let them know how grateful you are.”
One voice. One person.
You can be that one voice to make a difference to those around you. Don’t join in with irrational behavior just to feel a part of the day’s excitement. Check your emotions and then check to see what God says on the situation. Stick with God. Stick with His peace.
"But Missy, I want to do something. I can't just sit back and do nothing!"
Then take on Chief Brown's advice: Hug an orphan, police officer, member of the military or anyone else who is being unjustly targeted by evil and watch what happens.
Have a peaceful week.