Often I agree…I think…with the premise that we are all God’s children and thus all worthy of the care and consideration of our fellow human beings. This morning our Director of Faith Development Rev. Laurie Fields preached a thought provoking message. The sermon was regarding our seeing our fellow human beings as God sees them. Rev. Fields sited the recent Stanford University Rape Case where the assailant received a six month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. As Rev. Fields explained to us that,” the first sin the assailant committed was his failure to see his victim as a human being rather than an object to gratify his needs.”
Having been a regular church attender for the past forty-six years I can attest that you grow accustomed to the same faces and personalities that you encounter each Sunday morning. What do we do when someone enters our sanctuary that is perhaps disheveled…perhaps with an odor…perhaps with the challenges of mental illness…extreme loneliness…or without enough food to eat or money to provide for the basic necessities? Do we welcome them into God’s House? Do we connect with them…engage them in conversation and by that I mean perhaps the bumpy type that comes from two humans from different walks of life working to know each other?
I heard Don Lemmon who is a prominent newsman on CNN ask a panel of political commentators if they were racist? Each said that they were not. Then he inquired if they regularly socialized with or had people in their home that were of another race? He then said quietly and humbly that if a person does not do this that they probably had some racist views. Mr. Lemmon then went on to quote a study that noted that the breaking of this cycle happened when a person of one race loved a person of another race.
Early this morning the largest number of people killed by gunfire ever in the United States occurred in Orlando, Florida. This tragedy occurred at a gay nightclub where a shooter opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon. Currently fifty people are dead and over fifty are in the hospital. These precious human beings were children of God…his creation…not objects to fulfill an evil person’s prejudice upon! Some of the nicest people I know…my friends…are gay…and I am honored to know them!
When the Syrian refugee flees for their life from their home…their country…their family…all that they have ever known…will I welcome them and give them shelter and succor…and love that transcends their religion and attire and sees them as God’s children…and my fellow traveller through this earthly life?
The great author Ernest Hemingway said that, “If you write a sentence that is true you have written a great sentence.” The truth is that I am not where I want to be in loving and caring for God’s creation. Are you?