And this is what the LORD says to you...
"Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other." Zechariah 7:9-10
Today's message is difficult and ugly. It has been churning in my heart for 14 days. I am compelled to share it because ugliness is real and a part in all our lives. Truth needs to be spoken so God's light can shine forth to bring healing and hope to the hurting.
Sandwiched among days of spectacular beauty during my Spring Break, i found myself in a place known for it's sheer horror and pure evil... Dachau Concentration Camp. It isn't a destination for all visiting Germany because of all the sadness it holds. But i felt a strong need to go... to see... to hear... to touch... to feel man's inhumanity to man. To see the many photos of beautiful, innocent men, women and children who were stripped of identity, all belongings, rights and decency... to stare at the hollow, vacant eyes... the skin-to-bone skeletons... to hear the tales of endless torture... i was dazed and speechless, wondering how such a tragedy existed? Arrogance and ignorance were key factors... a racist
belief all should conform to one state of normality. My life and heart have been changed forever, as i recognize and openly admit oppression is not over.
As horrific as the killing of 6 million innocent people during the Holocaust was, it is not over. Some have failed to learn from the hideous crime. Barb-wired fences still exist keeping out the unwanted; some are within the reach of our fingertips.
Man's injustice to man is still prevalent. Discrimination, arrogance, ignorance march up and down our streets daily. Whether it's race, sex, age, sexual orientation, nationality, religious belief, physical features, disability, employment, language, social class -- there is judging, shunning, berating, belittling -- emotional barb-wired fences still surround innocent people. Blood, tears and brokenness spill out on the sidewalks of our cities, filling the cracks in our world with fear, pain and rejection.
Six million and counting... when will the numbers stop? when will the judging disappear? when will we be bold enough to say no more and rip down the fences of injustice and replace them with love and acceptance?
In the midst of beauty in the past 2 weeks, i have also seen ugly. It is real, and it is here. But like my trip, i don't think it will be the last vision or word we see. Sometimes a smack of ugly is necessary to put us on the right path, so we can be the vessel God desires and needs. And when we are, transformation evolves and Peace enters. Rest assured, He will bring about a glorious and beautiful ending.
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers/sisters, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessings, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3: 8-9
friend, we are loved and chosen by God,