One of the most profound statements I have heard this week came from the communications director for the Belize Police Department. The growth of gangs in my home country continues to cause havoc in some areas. This past weekend, one turmoil consisted of members of this specific gang unit who migrated from El Salvador. Based on their behavior, they were asked to leave a grocery store located in a small village of Belize. Because of this request, they retaliated by hitting the store owner (a woman), her husband, and even the family’s elderly mother. While seeking treatment at the hospital, these gang members burned down the family’s home and business.
As I watched the news via my telephone, I was horrified by what I heard. This isn’t the precious jewel I grew up in, I thought! I was devastated. At the news conference, the communications director was asked what would provoke someone to do something like this. His response was just this “At the time we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ, there should be no reason at all that could justify such behavior.” Hearing this from Corporal Fitzroy allowed my heart to slow down, and I became a bit more settled. Within that one tragedy, the renewal of Christ remains. I then told my board that the family must be helped, and we now work toward this assurance.
About three weeks ago, while running errands, I had an annoying human encounter. You see, because I chose to wear a mask, I was told by this male, younger than I am, that I was a stupid (explicit) idiot for wearing a mask. Mind you; this person was wearing a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion on a gold chain around his neck. And, as an older person, I had gray hairs on my head just showing off on this day! After his remarks, I looked at him and held back that fervent nature I almost always control. And even so, I thought to myself that I could take this guy on if he comes any closer. At 5 feet 4 inches, I am physically stronger than most expect me to be, and my will and determination multiply each day. If he cramps my personal space, let him just try, was my thinking at that moment. Friends, please bear with me if I have discussed this incident before. I wanted to share more on this.
So, after this absurdity, I thought to myself, man, does he have a lot to learn concerning Jesus. While discussing this incident with friends, I shared that it hurt me dearly to know that someone like this is in so much pain. I noted without fact but assumed that this person could be caught up in deception like some of the heartbreaking front, I hear coming out of some leaders today. I then said, I’ll gently profess until the day I die that every self-identified Christian or not, should go deeper into the Bible to know what God’s words are saying and not what is developed into manufactured doctrines and untruths. Taking shortcuts is never His answer to the things, ailing this world we share.
Aiy ya yaiy! As they say in my country! SMH too! I know this acronym from some of my daughter’s responses via text to me, accompanied by the rolling eyes, of course! I giggle just thinking of these occurrences.
As soon as I returned home after that ridiculous incident, I drank a tall glass of water after hand and face washings, then opened the one book, almost always displayed with Christmas cheer. The book is the Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman. Lovely poems and thoughts of the season are generous and beautifully written in this book. One poem I read then, as I did last night, is:
Christmas is Waiting to Be Born
Where refugees seek deliverance,
And the heart consumes itself, if it would live,
Where little children age before their time,
And life wears down the edges of the mind,
Where the old man sits with mind grown cold,
While bones and sinew, blood and cell, go slowly down to death,
Where fear companions each day’s life,
And Perfect Love seems long delayed,
CHRISTMAS IS WAITING TO BE BORN:
In you, in me, in all mankind.
Almost everything in this poem by Thurman depict some parts of the two experiences I share in this note with you this week. But, oh, the happiest of days when humanity is converted to Christ! Confusion, deception, childhood wounds, hatred, fear, cold hearts, and so many strongholds we face and experience in the behaviors of others each day; those we hide within ourselves. All these, gone! Gone when the entire world knows Him!
And, so we are not discouraged as we wait for the world to come to Him. We must not be dismayed by the meanness of some people of this world because we know that there’s always, always kindness shown by those who honor and know God. They are always right around us.
In this world therein: “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:5 (ESV)
The birth of Christ offers us renewal. With Him in our homes, we experience transformation. Our minds are altered through the guidance of His Spirit. Our hearts are cleansed and moved into, love. As, I grow into real substantial love each day! As we pray with great thanksgiving, we acknowledge His greatness and offer up so much joy and appreciation for the most meaningful gift of Christ. We remain in God’s words as we understand Him more and more and use our time in the noblest of ways. And our continuous prayers dim the works of the evil amongst us and release the darkness through the clear and beautiful Light of Jesus Christ.
I so enjoy growing with you!
Thurman, H. (1973, 1985). The mood of Christmas and other celebrations. Harper Collins, Friends United Press. p. 23