Ultimately, there is only one race-the human race-that is composed of a beautiful array of ethnicities, all in need of redemption (Gray, Derwin, “How to Heal Our Racial Divide” pg 31)
Day 111 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Click here for updates in Ukraine. It appears that America is quickly losing interest in this war in Europe. Every day when I go to share updates with y’all, even the AP News lets it slip further and further out of the spotlight. Even with gas prices at historical highs, America seems to no longer care about the global imbalance russia has caused.
I worked an off-duty job at a branch library yesterday. Off-duty is when a business, or public entity, hires a police officer to provide security and order. Due to my kids being off for summer, I have been having to pick jobs that start in the afternoon. I have worked at the local Tax Commissioner’s office, an incredibly busy bank, and now a quiet, beautiful library. Most of these places just need a better business model and they would not need to hire officers (the Tax Commissioner could just operate by appointment only to avoid long lines, the busy bank branch could open a second location to alleviate the mind-boggling heavy stream of customers that flock to them every day). I overheard the library branch manager stating that after June, they were not hiring any more officers for the summer, except at one location that sits in the middle of Savannah and is usually overrun by homeless trying to sneak in for cool air, the bathroom, or to charge their phones. For of these different business locations, if all the people of Savannah acted like civilized human beings, there would never be a need to hire off-duty officers for such everyday activities like waiting in line at a bank, or having to pay your taxes on a new vehicle, or teenagers behaving in a public library. I think I found part of the explanation for Savannah’s crime problem, or rather I read proof that supported a theory I already had of why Savannah’s crime is so bad.
This branch library had the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system budget on a table for the public to read. I was probably the only person to pick it up, ever. It was incredibly heartbreaking to see that, as I was looking at all the public high school budgets in Savannah, every school started their freshman classes with over 300 students, but the senior classes would only have a little over 100 students. Mrs. Z and I had always heard that Savannah’s public school system was bad (which is why we chose to live outside of Savannah in one of the state’s better public education system), but I did not know it was this bad. This means that nearly two-thirds of every high school class drops out of school before their senior year. And let’s be honest, if they are dropping out that early, are they really even applying themselves in 9th and 10th grade? Most likely not. And when they stop going to school at the ages of 16 and 17, where do they go? They end up on the streets, where crime becomes their education and they stay trapped in an endless cycle of violence and incarceration.
Who is to blame for this epidemic? That blame rests solely on the shoulders of each child’s parents, who most likely failed to instill the importance of education on their children when they were little, if they gave them any attention at all. I was recently asked by a rookie I was training what I thought Savannah needed to do to solve her chronic crime problem and my first response was to fix the public school system and help get these kids a proper education. He was surprised that this was my main priority in curbing crime. I was surprised when he said I was the first to make that statement to him. America is a land of opportunity, open to everyone if they are willing to work for it. Or at least it was. As this country is experiencing record heat waves, historic inflation, and the stock market on the verge of tanking, if history repeats itself, we are almost exactly one hundred years from the Great Depression. The world can not seem to learn, so maybe we are going to experience that again, this time with a country where everyone has access to deadly weapons of war and mass carnage will ensue as families to fight to survive. We’ve had our opportunities to fix all the problems we are currently facing. Scientists have been sounding the alarm for years about the dangers of global warming. Yesterday, in Savannah, the temperature was 92 degrees with a feels like of 128! If that, coupled with the price of gas (as petroleum companies continue to bring in record profits), is not enough to push you towards an electric car, then we shall see the lasting effects of humanity’s destruction of this precious planet God gifted us with.
While I was at the library yesterday I flipped through this beautiful book called “The Travel Book” by Lonely Planet. They highlighted the beauty and wonder of EVERY country on this precious, incredibly unique planet we call Earth. It is a really cool book and one I would highly recommend to have sitting on your coffee table for guests to thumb through. As I flipped through the pages I quickly realized I was seeing God and Jesus in nearly every country. Crosses were adjourned on so many historic buildings, suggesting that the Gospel has reached nearly every corner of the globe. And then there was picture after picture of the natural beauty within every nation, beauty that was sculpted by a Creator who loved us and wanted us to thrive on this incredible third rock from the sun. And then there was the marvelous, wonderful diversity of the human race. Dr. Derwin Gray wrote in the passage at the beginning of this post: there is only one race, the human race, each different nation being so incredibly unique. We are all sharing one home, planet Earth, a fragile, precious home that we, the human race, need to do everything in our power to protect.
I still believe we can heal this planet. We can also heal the divide that continues to hurt the most important creation on Earth: the people. Lindy Cofer’s newest worship anthem, “Jesus, The Healer” is a stunning rallying cry to remind us that Jesus and God will fix what is broken, we just need to come back to them, to humble ourselves, to submit to loving one another, and turn from our wicked ways of fighting with each other. We were meant to enjoy and thrive in this world, but first we need to love God, love His creations, and love one another. Click the image below to hear this powerful, new song. And thank you for reading through this long post today. I wish you all a blessed week, and I hope you can find ways to beat this summer’s heat.