Today is July 12, 2016. It has been a crazy week for sure. Seven days ago there was a controversial killing of a minority male in Louisiana, followed the next day by a clearly uncalled for shooting death by law enforcement in Minnesota-in the presence of the victim's girlfriend and a four year old child in the backseat. I had such an unrest in my spirit trying to reconcile what happened and what I sensed could happen. I asked those close to me to pray for my heart because, although these questionable deaths are new to some, they are all too familiar to me. Only now we have added the very effective component of Facebook Live, which does not allow for the usual filtering before a video is released to the public. A pastor friend called me on Thursday, hours before what would later become known as the Dallas Ambush on Police.
During the pre-ambush conversation, being transparent, I admitted that I was having difficulty with the disparity in law enforcement's 'diffusing/de-escalation' applications. As in, what appeared to be noticeable inconsistencies. I then gave a list of said disparities. I admitted I had not seen the LA video-because I couldn't bring myself to watch someone unnecessarily shot. My pastor friend maintained that the shot was indeed necessary because the victim had a gun in his pocket and he was not complying with the officer's instructions. When we ended the conversation, I still FELT the same -but based on our friendship history, I agreed to 'hold my form' and my voice (influence) until I had more time away from social media and more time listening in prayer. Besides, we all know feelings can and will change. I then went to a relative's house where a cousin showed me the MN shooting. Initially my response was I don't want to see that and he said, "No- you NEED to see it!" I honored his request- and immediately was filled with anger and a lowkey desire for revenge. About two hours later, the Dallas ambush occurred less than fifteen minutes away from where we were.
Shamefully, I had mixed feelings at the start of the Dallas Ambush. Just a short hour before I had felt frustration- like, quit just shooting us for no reason and then justifying it with statements like, "I asked him to quit moving, etc." But seeing it live- the chaos, the horror, and lawlessness of people running around while snipers shot at innocent people like target practice, and watching as the death toll began to be revealed- had an equally frustrating effect. Like, "Nooo, stop this! This isn't the answer." We stayed up most of the night discussing things from a raw and emotional place. Some felt as if it was inevitable because, "THEY keep killing US." (Division) Others knew this would only bring retaliation, equating to more of the very thing that sparked the outrage- Killing based on race. I drove home somberly, sad in the deepest part of my being. I have a rainbow of friends, family, and loved ones. All ages, races, classes, and gender identifications. Would I really have to make a decision on who to like and associate with based on reasons outside of character content? And if so, how do I reconcile that with biblical principles I have covenanted to live by?
So I got quiet. I logged off Facebook, turned off the TV, and just got quiet. For a few days. And in the quiet, I got a glimpse into the matrix. Below is the information that kept my attention and disarmed my anger:
If you don't know (discern) what it influencing you to watch the videos, DON'T. David was a mighty man of God influenced to count his army, and it resulted in a high death toll. Something simple, disguised as innocent or not a big deal resulting in lives lost and anguish multiplied. Don't watch the videos of a person actually expiring. As in, don't watch someone actually die on a video for the sake of frivolous conversation. If you haven't seen the death videos yet, don't watch them. Deep in in the covers of sadistic pornography, there is a something that is called a snuff film. Snuff films video the death or suicide of the actors, only the actors are real people that actually die on film in the deep web. The metaphorical use of the term "snuff" to denote killing is derived from a verb for extinguishing a candle.
Watching the video(s) releases (released) a spirit of murder on both sides. Especially for those that are not spiritually discerning. They (or we) become driven by anger and the need to strike back. Our perspective becomes overtaken by bitterness and hate, and we become the participants in the very behaviors that we initially railed against. Cavalierly justified because it's so unfair, or because group-think has set in, and it has groups rushing off cliffs in a self-justification frenzy. Stop. Pause. Pray. Before you are ensnared by the words of your mouth. Conform wholly to the principles you desire to LIVE by- because we are making are making life choices right now. Choices that will govern you and your children. Don't listen to the frenzy, the reactions, or the chaos. Be still. Be silent. Pray. And then DO.
The whisper is this; while we fight among ourselves in the form of group against group, and blame against blame; who is fighting our real enemy? Are we so caught up in our groups that we've neglected to discern the tactic of the enemy? Lastly, how did something so buried as a snuff film become everyday viewing without us recognizing the slime of the Spirit of Murder?
Father, protect us from Barabbas. And forgive us for releasing him.
I Kings 19: 11-12
11“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper."