rrThis morning, I sat in awe of God’s presence and looked out to the ocean and prayed with other women over this city and the fathers of it.
I was so moved by the scripture and the prayer and the presence of the Spirit, and the weight of the honesty of it all. As we all walked back to our cars, I noticed these gentlemen. Standing on the battery positioned between the confederate memorial and Ft. Sumter the stood in silent. They weren’t shouting, they weren’t angry, they just stood in silence. I didn’t sense hostility in their nature, yet the symbols they had chosen provoked such horrendous emotions to seemingly all around.
If you want to sense electricity in the air, this is the town and this is the time. We sat in unified prayer and reference to our Holy Father across denominations and ages praying for our city to be healed.
In the distance, we saw this .
A mile or two away, a block from where I sit and write this, people are gathering in peaceful assembly for a unity march through Charleston. In the shadow of Emanuel AME, people cry out to lay down our personal agendas, but no one can seem to figure out how to do it completely.
Though the stories are varied, we all want unity, and we all want respect and we all want to honor things and people we feel need honoring. We all have experienced, in this little space of ours, inexplicable pain from the different sins committed by others in our community, and, quite honestly, our forefathers. The problem is, if they aren’t biblical, then they carry weight when compared to our faith.
In looking at those flags this morning, I hurt. I wasn’t angry or wanting to shout. I wanted to understand, because these men started right. They put the symbol of our faith first on the top of that pole, but then they took that message of love and truth that God has given us through the Bible, and tied it to a belief of their own- a political piece, a symbol for a defunct nation made by men who chose to rebel from authority of the government under which they served.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
-1 Corinthians 8:9
But then God reminded me that there were easy targets in the blame game, and there were harder ones, too. How often do we take our God and tie Him to something completely non-biblical to justify it?
Fiery ginger that I am, I am frequently moved to scream by the rants of the day from people. My walk of recent as God works on this project that is me, is that I have to sit and listen, because it is super easy to start ranting as well, tie it to a ‘God spoke this to me’ and tell myself thats ok. The truth is it’s the worst, and the truth is many times we don’t even realize it.
You see those men were trying to gain awareness to something that for some reason or hurt they’ve experienced think that flag they are waving matters. Tying one of the symbols of our faith to it, however, perverts it. It doesn’t make the flag seem more peaceful, it creates the potential for someone to not want to know anymore about our faith because seeing that is enough for them to not ask questions and turn away from it completely.
We have been called to more, so if we truly believe in everything that top flag symbolizes, it would never occur to us to fly the flag that is placed beneath it, whether it’s the flag of a nonexistent nation, the flag of hatred toward someone who wronged you, the flag of judgement to someone you have decided is wrong. I was no better than them as I drove away. I ached to try to talk them through their mistake, but decided it would in poorly or in vain- another calling and opportunity missed. God says we are all the same with these hangups we have. They’re human. Some are just less socially acceptable than others.