So I try not to bring a lot of current events to this blog. It was meant to be an analysis of the Bible and verses that I find stand out as I am reading each book with y’all. But I did want to reference the senseless killings that are attracting a lot of attention across the nation lately. I will start with the most recent today, and touch on Ahmaud Arbery tomorrow. To talk about the unexplainable police misconduct that happened in Minneapolis, I first will put out the disclaimer that I am currently a Peace Officer so unlike the rest of the country, I can give an accurate opinion. Unlike the rest of the country, when I kept seeing more and more police misconduct, I realized I could not criticize the police because I was not willing to step up and do anything to make this struggle right. So I decided to become a police officer, so that I could ensure that people were treated with dignity and respect whether they are a criminal or not. That being said, what happened in Minneapolis is definitely police misconduct and brutality. There is absolutely no reason that officer should have put pressure on that man’s neck for as long as he did. Mr. George Floyd was already in handcuffs and I am not sure why they took him to the ground. It seems like he wasn’t letting them put him in the police vehicle. Even so, they should have never taken him to the ground. There are other ways to force a man into a police vehicle. What you will see if you watch this video is torture. That officer tortured Mr. George Floyd until he died. It’s disgusting and another black eye to the police community. I swore if I ever became a police officer, I would not let the “thin blue line” blur the line of right and wrong, and what happened in Minneapolis is very, very wrong. I trust our legal system to bring the officers involved to justice, just as we will hopefully see in the Arbery case.
Thousands of police officers do the right thing day in and day out, but that goes unnoticed. But when a few bad apples violate people’s rights like these officers did to George Floyd, a lot of the country paints all cops as bastards. The solution to these problems is not a race issue, it’s a cultural issue. It’s blantant disregard on all sides. Police such as these do not see the value of life in a person like Mr. Floyd. People like Mr. Floyd don’t have any respect to authority and fight the police. The part of the story that is not being talked about, as it never is, is whether Mr. Floyd was the man attempting to cash forged checks. Which would explain the initial stop, and then his actions resisting arrest led the situation to escalate far greater than it ever should have. This does not excuse the officer’s actions, and the officer needs to be held accountable for the murderer he is. But if there was never an initial crime, none of this would have ever happened. And as criminals get bolder and braver and no longer fear our justice system, they will continue to commit crime after crime and push police to the point where they snap and take their frustration out on someone undeserving. America needs Jesus. Criminals need Jesus. Police officers need Jesus. Only Jesus provides the solution to all our problems. Love God. Love one another as yourself.
3Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
7There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed. (Acts 28:3-10)
Paul is bit by a viper, one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. Some small Christian sects still think this is one of only two references in the New Testament that mentions the Holy Spirit protecting believers from serpents (Mark 16:17-18 is the other source). I like to think of this as another cameo by satan, trying to derail the growth of Christianity and stop Paul from reaching Rome. And as Jesus and God do every time satan shows himself, Paul just shakes the snake off into the fire. So whenever you feel the grip of satan in your life, just shake it off.
Easier said than done. Especially when the devil continues to grow stronger and more in number every day. There is true evil in this world, true criminals that would harm you and your family without a second thought, true villains that have no regard to human life, or the sanctity of God. There are those that relish in the darkness. But Jesus is still the victor, but victory may not always come easy. Never allow yourself to be an unnecessary victim. Train your body to be strong, train your mind to be aware, and train your soul to always be ready. So whenever the devil appears and strikes at you, you can Taylor Swift him and shake it off. Shake it off.
Deeper reading plan: Job 31, 32, 33
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet. And continue to pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much. Pray for all the businesses trying to recover and keep their associates able to provide for their families. Pray that the world reopens without a surge of new COVID outbreaks. And pray that the world has undergone a lasting change and the flame of revival has been lit!
Fitness challenge: Distance Run day! Put in thirty minutes of work and see how far you can go!