A Haircut, A Parking Lot, And The Healing of A Nation

An Update to My Previous Post: “There’s Something Very Wrong With America

This morning, my dear wife finally talked me into visiting the local hair salon with her. Although I didn’t feel well today, I was long overdue for a haircut myself. So, I gruffly submitted to her clever plan to arrange appointments for us both. We arrived promptly at One o’clock.

I was first in the chair. With the electric trimmer set to 1 1/2 and a few quick snips of the scissors, I was soon neatly trimmed and ready to hastily retreat to my truck in the parking lot while I waited for the hairdresser to finish my wife’s beautiful long hair.

As usual, it was hot here in Texas today. So I cranked up the engine and turned the air conditioner on full blast. There was a newscast playing on the radio in the background but the volume was low and it was being drowned out by the sound of the air-conditioner. As I increased the volume of the radio, I realized that I had missed the first few minutes of a live broadcast covering the bond hearing being held for admitted mass murderer Dylann Roof.

Sitting there in that hot parking lot, with the A/C blasting, the words I would hear next would move me to tears. And deliver a message that was sent by God to help heal and guide a Nation.

The first words I heard were spoken by Anthony Thompson who was speaking on behalf of victim Myra Thompson, and I quote;

“Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ, so he can change your ways no matter what happens to you and you’ll be OK,“.

 Mr. Thompson was one of several representatives from each family of the nine victims killed by Roof during Church Services in Charleston, SC last Wednesday.

Each speaker who followed, echoed Mr. Thompson’s compassion, and offered only forgiveness in the most sincere and passionate form. They bonded together as Christians, not victims. They defied hatred and refused to become part of it. They each spoke as Christians who didn’t just “talk the talk”, they literally “walked the walk”. And they did so in clear view of the entire world.

At a time and place when it was needed most, even before their loved one’s are buried, they literally served as true examples of what it really means to be a Christian.

I sat there dumbfounded by what I was hearing, as I’m sure everyone was who heard it. And I’m sure it was perfectly clear to all who heard it, their words were sincere.

Despite being victims of terrible evil, and in stark contrast to the rioting and destruction in Ferguson, Baltimore and multiple other cities, their united display of true Faith and Belief in God courageously stood without fear, and provided the only real answer to the core problems that are destroying the entire world.

Through these fine people, God Delivered a Clear Message to The World. It is up to us to choose to listen.

Let those who have eyes see, let those who have ears listen.

The problems that we face today as a nation, as a people and as a world, are created by the choices that we make as individuals. In effect, we create the conditions of our own existence, and if those conditions determine the health of our society as a whole, we as a nation, are very near death.

Later that evening, I would see a repeat of the video broadcast that I had partially heard on the radio earlier in the day. SEE: VIDEO The first portion that I’d missed during the earlier broadcast, was almost as remarkable as the statements given by the victims families. When I’d heard the earlier radio broadcast, I noticed that It seemed odd that victim impact statements would be given so soon, especially at a simple bond hearing, but I had come in midway through the interview, so I wasn’t sure what I was hearing.

Upon seeing the full video later that evening, my confusion was clarified. In a precedent-setting move, the presiding Judge had not only issued a public statement himself, he had also allowed, or arranged for, the victim impact statements to be read during the initial bond hearing. I believe this was a calculated move on the part of the Judge and the city of Charleston which was designed to deter or quell a repeat of the hatred driven rioting seen in Ferguson. While I agree that it was a wise, proactive decision, I also believe that it was driven by fear as much as it was out of concern for the community. I further suspect there was considerable pressure from the Federal level which expected the situation to rapidly explode into a repeat of the chaos seen previously.

Hatred begets hatred, fear begets fear, and ignorance begets ignorance. These are principles that the previous speakers knew and understood well, and I suspect that it was through their brave example, the governing powers joined with them in an effort to preserve the peace.

Even as the participants themselves worked together to defuse a potentially dangerous situation for all, I seriously doubt that ANYONE involved expected or was even aware that they had become a part of something much larger than the proceedings around them.

God has always intervened when we needed Him most, He is always sending us messages, He is always amongst us. And he sometimes allows the tragedies that we create, to become living examples of the failures we bring upon ourselves.

In His Wisdom and Mercy, God chooses to intervene in our lives at precisely the right time and place, and his message is always very clear. We just don’t listen.

Being in, and living of the world, makes one completely blinded to the messages that are God sent. I liken it to being trapped in a closed box, lost in the darkness, totally unaware that you’re even in a box. One must first recognize that they are in a box, before they can begin to climb out of it. Emerging from the darkness is the beginning of enlightenment.

Contrarily, living in the world, while not being of the world, means that you are living completely outside of the box. From that perspective you see row after row of unopened boxes, and you choose to help them be opened. Enlightenment brings with it moral responsibility, moral responsibility builds character.

In my experience, I have seen how many people only learn things the hard way in this life, including myself. We must reach the end of our rope, be at the bottom of the barrel, unable to withstand the pain any longer, before we finally surrender to the one who had been waiting for us all along. The one who had been sending us messages inside our dark boxes, then helped us to crawl out of the darkness into the light.

God clearly spoke to the entire world when those nine innocent victims were murdered in a Church in South Carolina. He spoke through the powerful grace shown by the families of the victims, and He was forced to allow us to witness the horror of what can happen when someone is left lost in the bottom of a dark box, that never gets opened.

Horror and tragedy are the inevitable results of choices made in the dark. And there are many many people in this world, who don’t even know they are in a box.

Take a good look around yourself, no really, just take a good look at yourself. And then take a good look at the world around you. Are you lost in the box that was painted for you by the world?

Or did you just clearly hear the message that was delivered to the world by God?

As I said before….”There Is Something Very Wrong With America. And It Began Long Ago”.

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