For one second last night, I was afraid to walk through my neighborhood.
My husband wanted to take me to dinner. There are several restaurants close by, so when we go, we usually walk.
But for one second, I felt glowing white.
Like a ring on a bullseye. Shoot here.
When I recognized the way my mind was wandering, I was so mad. Mad at the situation. Mad at myself.
Bullies make me mad.
There are many bullies in this world, but, today, I think the biggest bully is the media.
I’m not even convinced the young man in Dallas shot those officers. “I want to kill white people?” It just seems too convenient.
Whether he did or didn’t, I guess the point is that I don’t believe even half the news I hear. I don’t know anyone who does.
And yet, it just rolls on and on. And we keep watching.
And we know we are being manipulated. And we keep watching.
We absolutely need to deal with issues at the roots. Especially as the church. Every voice needs to be heard, and there is no doubt that there is work to be done.
But the endless irresponsible newsreels are not helping. They are bullying us into a corner.
I was encouraged to hear of a report on NPR that most people interviewed are sick of the sensationalism and ready to turn it off. They just haven’t turned it off, not quite yet.
The headlines always seem to disintegrate. From simple facts to screaming emotion. Anything for ratings. Anything to keep the audience reaching for one more view.
In the Dallas headlines, today, I see words like “division, fear, and terror.”
It is a tragic thing. The victims deserve our honor and our grief.
But division? Fear? Terror?
That’s not news. That’s bad prophecy.
Honor and grief and even outrage are part of this process. But, division, fear, and terror–these are my choice.
Not to diminish the pain in Dallas in any way, but tragedy happens every day all over the world. Why should the media dictate to me what my emotion is supposed to be today?
I will not let the media tell me that I should be anxious and worried today. I will not let the media tell me that my world view should be different today, and then change again tomorrow, based on the ever-shifting sand of ratings.
I don’t allow anything to tell me that I should be anxious and worried on any day. Why give the media special power or authority over my emotion and my state of mind?
Unity and love. Deep solutions. Conversations. Voices heard. Changes made. These will not happen in the climate that the unchecked media will create.
I did walk to dinner with my husband last night. “If I die, I die,” I thought and put on my lipstick and marched out the door.
And strolled through crowds of beautiful people. Every possible expression of Divine Creativity. Every imaginable shade of skin, every impossible color of hair. And we smiled at each other and said hello. And we ate together. We broke bread together.
I could have stayed home. I could have changed my plans. I could have missed a great night enjoying the people around me.
As a friend of mine says, there really is only one race. The Human Race. Breaking bread together.
I pray we can get the facts we need and filter them through the eyes of love. I pray we know when to turn off the news and ask The One Who Made Us what He has to say about it all.
I pray we do not let ourselves be bullied, by media or any other thing.
I pray we are filled with the courage that passion can bring, passion for something bigger than our own personal safety or desires. And do what it takes to see real change. I pray for miracles. We are catalysts for miracles. I pray we focus on love and are willing to look inside ourselves and do the hard work that has to be done.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:6-7