Monday, June 1, 2020
I am angry, as anyone who lives by compassion is today. George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis last week. The white cop knelt on Floyd’s bent neck, while Floyd begged for mercy, calling out to his mother in Heaven, surrounded by onlookers yelling for the police to let him breathe. “I can’t breathe!” Floyd called out over and over, until he died.
I can’t watch the video of his violent death, shown so casually on the news multiple times in an hour. I feel sick to my stomach when I think of the way George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray and countless others were targeted and treated brutally to death, because of their ethnicity. In a country that professes liberty for all. I’m so angry.
I went to my back yard to feed the fish in our pond. While they were eating, I noticed many weeds had spread quickly overnight, with recent rain. I pulled up a few, but spent more time than planned (you know how that goes!) gathering loads of creeping chickweed, which had taken over quite a large area, around trees and under bushes. “I’ll never get all of this now,” I thought. “I have other projects I need to get to, but let me clear some of this.”
I thought of sin, and what I had written about years ago. My sin still creeps into all areas of life, wrapping and tangling itself up with those around me. I go to Confession, and hear that Jesus forgives me. He pulls up the weeds I have grown, clearing the way for cleaner growth. I promise to do better, “to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.”
I don’t always get the whole root, when I pull weeds, however. The tendency toward sin begins anew, and I need the help of others around me to keep me clear, the help of Compassionate Jesus to forgive and take away the unwanted growth.
We have let the root of prejudice, bigotry, self-righteousness and entitlement to grow exponentially of late in our country, and apparently in our world.
Jesus the Christ, dig up the root of evil in every one of us, throw it into the fiery incinerator of oblivion. Teach us anew how to be compassionate humans. You are gentle of Hand. Continue to make us aware of the lessons you give us in our daily routines, even as we pull weeds.