If Black lives matter then…
When I was a younger and more energetic man, I used to be a youth Pastor in the inner city area called Brockton. Brockton, MA – as some might know it – is a very tough town. It is the home of Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Rocky Marciano. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who knows, Brockton is a tough town. The crime rate is astronomical. My wife is a nurse at Brockton Hospital and she deals with a number of shooting victims regularly.
My youth group consisted of around 40 stereotypical “gang bangers”. I lead that youth group for three years with the help of only three young women who had the guts and tenacity to be involved in the lives of these troubled young people. Every week I spent trolling the streets and school yards for the kids in my youth group doing my best to help keep them out of trouble. I was, at that time in my life, involved with them in the capacity of being a surrogate father figure and unofficial probation officer. At least that is how the kids looked at me. I would say that at least once a week I would spend my time breaking up a fight between the kids at our youth meetings. They came to my house. I took them with me when I had to run errands. I treated them to lunch on a regular basis and did my best to communicate the love of the Lord in word and deed in their lives. This group was very diverse in its demographic, consisting of black, white, Hispanic and every mix in between. Presently I do a prison ministry once a week in the north shore of Boston. I have been there for around 5 years.
The reason I write this background information is because of what is transpiring in our country presently. I have to admit, I am getting wearied beyond all imagination with this “Black lives matter” campaign. The reason I say this is because, if Black lives really mattered to these people who are presently protesting and looting, then all of their bloviating and pontificating on the subject would turn into a productive service. They would invest in the life of a young person. They would give their time money and energy to redeem the life of a young man or woman who might be without the guidance of a mother or father.
Instead they march, loot, burn or try their best to get their 15 minutes of fame on TV. That’s easy and meaningless. Presently, there are too many people flapping their upper lips in front of the camera as if their pointless yammering makes them righteous vigilantes. Men like Al Sharpton, the race baiter, are more concerned with filling their own pockets and expanding their personal notoriety than bringing forth a real solution. I wonder if Mr. Sharpton has ever spent a day of his life with a troubled youth inconveniencing his personal schedule by trying to be an example of what a real man of the Lord is supposed to look like. Based on his past and present behavior, it certainly doesn’t seem like he has the time to offer any kind of a real solution. He is too busy hobnobbing with the important people.
Of course Black lives matter. That entire statement is ludicrous. But why does it seem that no one has the discernment or common sense to see that the solution has nothing to do with rioting, looting or violence. All that is accomplished by the political pundits and news media is the facilitation of this behavior. No one has offered a simple solution. That solution is discipleship as Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah taught us.
Mat 28:18 And Yeshua came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and make Disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
They don’t need more social programs or money; they need someone to love them with a tough love. They need someone who is willing to go through the tough times of puberty. They need people who will let their lives be inconvenienced. Adults who are willing to help carry the baggage of a troubled youth until they are capable of carrying it themselves. This is messy and tedious. There is no glory, no 15 minutes of fame, most of the time you are alone in the nittty-gritty daily tasks of helping them. If Black lives really mattered to these people, then let them put their money, time and energy where their mouths are. They have not earned the right to protest until they have done all that they can in the life of a young person, teaching them to be responsible, caring, productive citizens in their community. If they are worried about police violence on black youth then maybe it is time for black youth to stop committing crimes. But that won’t happen until
responsible adults step up and do their job to raise up young men and women of character. And this is my two cents worth concerning this matter. As for me, Black lives matter. As a matter of fact, all lives matter, and the solution is teaching them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves.
Mat 22:35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" Mat 22:37 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' Mat 22:38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. Mat 22:39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' Mat 22:40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
Shalom uvracha b'Yeshua (Peace and blessings in Yeshua) Rabbi Henry