Events in my country these last days only reinforce my desire to leave. I haven’t a clue where in the world I would go. I’m not sure there is any place for someone as odd as myself. I only know I do not belong here in this place, in this time. Most would brand me unpatriotic. Okay, I’ve never been much of a flag waver so I guess I can live with the label. I am just so tired. I understand nothing and no one here down the rabbit hole.
Once again, I am reminded of conversations with my therapist where I share with her my belief that truly I am the crazy one walking around in this life. Others around me go about their business seeing the same things I do, hearing the same things I do, reading the same things I do; but apparently believing it normal or finding total agreement. I am out of sync with too much in this place.
Most recently, I find myself profoundly saddened, disappointed and angered by the behavior of friends, family, potential and current leaders with regards to the plight of refugees. Okay, call me bipolar. I’m okay with that label too. But, explain to me how a country whose very existence is founded on the notion of people finding refuge in a new land can so easily turn a blind eye to the suffering of so many is beyond comprehension. I weep for the hardened heart we have developed out of a fear of others. I am confused by a people who choose to live their daily lives in fear of what “might” happen. For a country who calls itself “Christian”, it must be a case of amnesia to have forgotten so many scriptures calling us to be hospitable to strangers. Perhaps a refresher is in order:
- Deuteronomy 10: 19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
- Leviticus 19:34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
- Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.
- Matthew 25:40 Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me.
- Luke 10:27 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
- Hebrews 13: 1 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
- Colossians 3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
- Matthew 25: 35 I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
- Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
There is such a feeding frenzy for revenge in our country that I find myself choking on the stench. It is my contention that bin Laden succeeded beyond his wildest imagination in changing the face of America on 9/11. We are certainly more divided, less trusting, less compassionate and hell bent on making someone pay. At the same time, we continue to fuel the fires with weapon sales to anyone with cash in hand. And, if you own stock in military “anything” you too are bipolar as your portfolio profits increase while reaping what you sow. When Armageddon arrives, I am convinced it will be stamped with Made in America.
This commentary is not a slam on those who choose to or have served in the military. I admire and respect your dedication and willingness to a cause. At the same time, I do question the causes that send men and women to places where it seems more about business than protecting freedoms back at home. We should do more to make fewer veterans in the first place, truly be more selective in picking our battles. What is it they say… “follow the money.”
It may be naïve on my part. Perhaps, I am just too stupid, too blind to understand the big picture. But, is it not enough to let your faith be better than your fear? Is it not enough to truly trust in a higher power if you call yourself a Christian nation? As I said, I would not call myself a patriotic person, but I do know the trappings. I know that our national anthem contains the words “home of the brave”. I find myself wondering exactly where those people have gone or did they ever really exist in the first place. If so, I miss them!