I am deeply saddened by the recent events in Tulsa, OK and Charlotte, NC. If these were isolated events, then I would be shocked and bewildered. However, there are many more cities and many more tragedies like those experienced in Tulsa and Charlotte. I am no longer shocked, but that doesn’t mean that I am not deeply troubled and saddened by all of it.
Luke 16:19-31 contains a parable about Lazarus and a rich man. During life, Lazarus would sit by the rich man’s gate without even an acknowledgment from him. After both people die, Lazarus is with father Abraham, and the rich man is in Hades separated by a wide chasm. You might think that this chasm was created in the afterlife, but in actuality the chasm was created long ago. By the rich man not seeing Lazarus as a child of God, worthy of his attention, mercy, and kindness, this great chasm was created.
Part of the problem that we are facing in our country is that there is a wide chasm that is getting wider by the day. People are not willing to see one another as a child of God. Instead the blame game is played to no one’s benefit. It seems that everyone has a solution to our problem that involves placing blame on the other side. It’s heart-breaking enough that we are taking sides. It’s even more so when the other side is not valued as children of God.
I am terrified as to what will become if this chasm widens any further. As a follower of Jesus, I will not contribute to the widening any longer. It is better to listen and acknowledge each other as brothers and sisters than it is to be right. Jesus didn’t tell us to love our neighbor unless we disagree with them. If we are to be people of faith, then we MUST see each other as children of God.