Deliver Me, or Some Thoughts on Current Events

“Deliver Me” by David Crowder Band (2003)

Lyrics

Deliver me out of the sadness
Deliver me from all the madness
Deliver me courage to guide me
Deliver me Your strength inside me

All of my life
I’ve been in hiding
Wishing there was someone just like You
Now that You’re here
Now that I’ve found You
I know that You’re the One to pull me through

Deliver me loving and caring
Deliver me giving and sharing
Deliver me this cross that I’m bearing

All of my life
I’ve been in hiding
Wishing there was someone just like You
Now that You’re here
Now that I’ve found You
I know that You’re the One to pull me through

All of my life
I’ve been in hiding
Wishing there was someone just like You
Now that You’re here
Now that I’ve found You
I know that You’re the One to pull me through

Oh, deliver me
Oh, deliver me
Deliver me
Oh, deliver me
Oh, deliver me
Deliver me

Jesus, Jesus how I trust You
How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus
Deliver me
Come and pull me through
Come pull me through

A Note on Current Events

I suspect that, like me, most people will look back and consider 2020 to be a year of great hardship even if only considering everything happening in the world around us. In January most of us were focused on the circus that is the primary season leading to the presidential 2020 election; and in the six months that have followed there have been atrocities committed around the globe, a global pandemic that literally shut the world down for months, food and toilet paper shortages, and an increase in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, self-harm and suicide as a result. More and more examples of police brutality and state violence have continued to surface leading to mass protests at home and around the world, and – in the most unfortunate cases – riots and looting. And in the midst of all of this, we have been lied to, fed falsified information about public health and safety risks which then led to millions of people losing their sole source of income; and as a result of this culture of over-politicization we are finding many of us are losing faith in institutions that we used to trust.

I know I tend to see things in a negative light, but more and more I’ve talked to people online and in person who are absolutely fed up. They see the corruption and the lies coming from the people we have trusted to lead and inform us and they are struggling with what to do; and so, some are clinging to the fleeting hope of politics. They are becoming politically active (sometimes for the first time) because they are outraged or concerned. They want to see a change and have faith that something can be done about it. Others, meanwhile, are ignoring the problems. The stress and anxiety of the circumstances we find ourselves in are too much for them to bear and they are just trying to wait it out. Others are defiant and refusing to let their lives be changed by rules set out by petty tyrants who demand obedience from the people who elected them in the first place.

On Twitter and Reddit we see posts of social media “influencers” staging photo ops of themselves pretending to marching with BLM protesters or pretending to help shop owners board up their windows in clothes and makeup that cost more than many low income Americans make in a month. We see politicians ignoring lock down and distancing orders to get hair cuts while their citizens are forced to stay home and wait for government handouts for the sake of “public safety”. And still others see this as an opportunity to bring about the political change they want through disruption, fear, and violence regardless of how it impacts the rest of society who are just trying to make it.

It is a dark time for our country. We are a hurting people. We’ve been wounded by our pride and by our inability to care for one another. We’ve allowed our social and political interests push each other away because they are the other. And while I believe the vast majority of American’s are good and decent people who love and respect each other, there is a primal element of our brain that is holding onto this vile sense of tribalism. It’s why we see police officers standing by while one of their colleagues kneel on the neck of a dying man, or why criminal action is not taken in the abuse of an 11-year-old girl by a school resource officer. It’s why a white couple can be beaten with 2×4’s by a group of rioters while the crowd carries on and films it without stepping in to stop it.

In the Church we are called to be different, but are we? Are we acting as Christ would act? When I hear conservative evangelicals talk about the killing of George Floyd and they try to justify the actions of the police by saying things like, “Well he was trying to pass off counterfeit $20 bills,” or, “He was high,” or, “You know he had a criminal history,” I cannot help but wonder just how ashamed Jesus is of us. That is not the way we should be thinking, speaking, or acting. We should be the light in this darkness (Matthew 5:14-16), but too many of us are joining in the culture war. Too many of us, who are called by Jesus’ name, are running to our tribal camps to find refuge rather than running to Him to find respite.

I wish I could be more positive here, but I believe that we each need to take some time to evaluate where we are. When Jesus looks at us, and at our hearts, what does he see? What is he saying? Is He pleased, or does he mourn because of the way His children are thinking and acting?

I chose this song because I felt it was timely. I know I’m late to the party with commentary on everything that’s been going on. To be totally honest, I think I’ve gone through almost all of those reactions mentioned above over the last few months. I’ve been fed up with our establishments. At times I’ve wanted to just bury my head in the sand because it feels so hopeless to even try to do anything about it. It may not sound very Christ-like but I’ve had more than a few moments where I’ve wanted to just walk away from everything about this culture with middle fingers in the air, and have entertained the idea of watching the system burn to the ground on more than one occasion. Are those thoughts and feelings valid? Yes. Are they good or beneficial to myself or others? No, and they don’t do any good when it comes to serving Jesus.

So what to do? Well there are a lot of things that need to be done. But perhaps we ought to start by inviting Jesus to speak into our lives so that we can seek forgiveness and learn from Him how to best love the people around us… even those who we really, REALLY don’t like. Maybe we should ask Him to give us the strength to show mercy and compassion for victims of violence (provoked or unprovoked) as we have compassion for his suffering leading to the cross. And maybe more of us need to keep praying over, and over, and over again that he would soften our hearts and not allow the hatred of this world to cause them to grow cold to the people who need love and respect… even if they’ve got a criminal record.

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