As the Pendulum Swings

I apologize… this is not a devotional post. Just some thoughts on a topic that has grabbed my attention in the past few days…


As you may have heard, St. Louis has become quite the hotbed of activity. Thousands of “protestors” have taken to the streets to show their displeasure with a court decision that exonerated a white policeman for killing a black man. As issues of race, inequality, and injustice continue to make their way to the forefront in the arena of social concerns, these “protests” have added an exclamation point to an already intense discussion.

I have purposely placed the words “protests” and “protesters” in quotation marks because that is how the media outlets have described and defined their activities. But that is not what I see. When I watch all the property destruction, stores looted, buildings burned, people injured, people threatened, and people fearing for their lives… I do not see protest, I see tantrum.

tantrum-in-grocery-storeI see the little child who throws himself on the grocery store floor because his mother won’t buy him his favorite sugary snack. I see people who have lost touch with the value of their cause and crossed over a line into entitlement. I see mob rule trying to assert their own will into the very heart of a culture. I see destruction and fear tarnishing legitimate concerns.

Any cause that loses balance in its expression weakens its own position – and, in fact, becomes a threat to that cause’s position. It’s as simple as people who are pushed, will naturally push back. So those who set out to push their cause into people’s faces will meet resistance – and that resistance self-defeats their cause.

That is the problem with all these “protests.” Legitimate issues are taken out of the spotlight, replaced with the vivid pictures of people who are more intent upon stirring up chaos and fear, than in addressing the problems.

A QuikTrip convenience store burns during a night of rioting in Ferguson, Missouri

Are there injustices in police activity? Sure. Are there some “bad” cops who want to abuse their authority? Certainly. Are there white people who hate black people? Undoubtedly. Should these facts concern all of us? Absolutely.

To protest injustice is a good thing. It is a right thing. But when the pendulum swings over into destruction and into activities that promote chaos and fear, it is no longer a good or right thing. That which is intended to throw light on the subject, becomes a purveyor of more darkness.

I contrast what I see in all these “protests” with what I saw in the aftermath of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. There, you saw people of every race working together to help one another. You saw people who realized the value of being color-blind and setting aside all manners of personal “feelings” just to help one another in a common cause. You saw humanity at its best – and compassion for one another at its highest. You get a snapshot of what the God-imprint can do in all of us.

harvey help

I think the lesson to be learned, for us all, is that we cannot maginalize someone else to elevate the awareness of our own sense of maginalizaton. Ultimately, every cause has to appeal to the “better nature” of others to become an effective means of change. People need to see the need before the need can be met. And if all they see deepens their resolve to ignore the issue (or turn away in anger or disgust) we have done nothing more than to deepen the divide.

About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
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