we are our own victims

We must take sides.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Elie Wiesel

( a ripening persimon / Julie Cook / 2017)

There is a massive and unrelenting tidal wave descending over us..
It is the tsunami of all things news and the resulting title wave of
sensational headlines.
It’s exasperating just trying to keep up.
Especially if one works hard to shift through the facts searching in vain
for the truth.

However…in the end, I think we all really know what matters most…

That being…helping and assisting people to put their lives back together…
With just one example being down in Texas and Louisiana following the most
unwelcomed visit by Harvey as we all now find ourselves wearily eyeing the sky
as Irma makes her way to come calling…

That’s what’s important.

Yet we are inundated with and by the latest protests, demonstrations and clamorings
of the latest and not so greatest hoopla and brouhaha which stems from something
the sitting president has done or has not done.

Yesterday I read the recent posting by my friend Citizen Tom, ‘Left Holding the Bag’

Tom was recounting the story of King Hezekiah’s response to the prophet Isaiah’s admonishment for a rather arrogant and prideful desire of which Hezekiah was granted.
And yet the king was going to have to live with the fallout from his selfish wants…
of which would now greatly impact those who had been entrusted to his governance and leadership.

Tom went on to relate the similarities of that time long ago to our own time today…
of the current situation we seem to be finding ourselves
in with North Korea and why it’s as bad as it is now.

Tom explained how previous leaders and administrations basically pushed the
ever growing knowledge of the DPRK’s advancing and expanding nuclear progress aside.
Particularly the Obama Administration.
For reasons that appear more selfish in nature than examples of selfless leadership.

Tom muses that King Hezekiah seemed to be more concerned about his own legacy,
to such an extent that he was willing to allow his “people,”
and their future generations, to suffer due in part to his selfish wants.

Just as it seems the former president was more interested in the stats of the moment
and what good things he could be remembered for doing while willfully ignoring
the looming facts and threats of a growing nuclear North Korea.
With the mindset seemingly being “let the next guy worry about it.”

And so now we turn our attentions to the more recent current event…
that being the ongoing immigration debacle and DACA.
Which has resulted in once again, more protests and demonstrations.

Yet as we’ve given such programs the names of our very essence…
names that have made us the nation we are…such as “Dreamers”…
And so we grow angry thinking about those who would dare want
to smash ‘the dream’….

When I was still in the classroom I taught a wealth of different kinds of kids.
Many of whom were here in this country illegally.
How do I know this you ask….
They told me.

I loved my ‘kids’, all of my kids, and the knowledge that many were living
in our community and in our state and in our nation illegally created a difficult situation in my heart.

Yet the bottom line, which I knew and still know, was always the same…
the word illegal.

The word illegal as defined by the Oxford Dictionary :
Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.

As in…the law.

We are a burdened society.

Our healthcare is a catastrophic nightmare with skyrocketing costs.
Our prisons are bursting at the seam while the monies can’t keep up.
Our public education budgets are stretched to the end.
Our public assistance programs are being pulled to their limits.
According to Forbes Magazine, “As of March 2016,
the U.S. government owes almost $19.8 trillion to creditors in both long and short
term debt.”
That was based on figures from a year ago, the numbers have only grown larger in that
year’s time.

But we are a people who are the victims of our own human nature.

By and large the majority of us are caring and compassionate people who want
both ourselves and others to be comfortable and happy.
We don’t like feeling uncomfortable and we don’t like seeing others uncomfortable
because their uncomfortableness makes us uncomfortable and we simply
don’t like being uncomfortable.

We like our friends…all of our friends..those who are citizens and those who
are not—those illegal ones amongst us.
We don’t like the idea of sending them away.
We see the tears and the torn families and our hearts become
empathetic and we just say “leave them alone and let them stay…”

But there are huge ramifications with such thinking.
And that is much of our trouble.
Staying only contributes to the already burgeoning burdens we’ve created.
There are simply not the funds, resources or abilities for such….

And so we have laws for a reason.
We try to have a lawful society.
It’s how order is kept.
It is how our society functions properly.

It may not always appear fair, but we have laws to protect ourselves
from ourselves.

People here illegally are just that, illegal.
No matter how much we love them or want them to stay they are illegal
and simply put,
there will always be repercussions for actions that are illegal.

There are laws and processes in place for those who wish to come here legally.
And for all those countless individuals who have done so, what a sham all of that
rigor now becomes as we are heard to now say
“let them all come and let them all stay.”

And what of our increasing burdens?
Those burdens that this stretched nation can no longer carry on under…
under the tremendous weight of resources that cannot and will not keep up…?

So whereas our hearts speak to the tears we see and the cries we hear…
our laws and our leaders, those who know that the laws are there for a reason…
laws which must be upheld despite all the seemingly unkind, unwelcoming,
uncompassionate byproducts and effects…they must be upheld for our own sakes.

And therefore we need leaders who can lead and who are willing to lead when
things become utterly difficult.
And right now, our times are just that, utterly difficult.

We don’t want nor do we need panderers.
We do not want nor do we need appeasers.
We do not want nor do we need those who care more about legacies,
numbers or even popularity…
Because being unpopular is often what is necessary.

But rather we want and need those who can say and do the more painful and unpopular aspects of leading despite the cost to self….
it’s what we need despite ourselves.

So whereas some leaders have been more preoccupied with self, others have not…
and yet how unkind it is that there are those who have had to pick up the pieces
left hiding by those who ignored the difficult and hard…

For truly good leaders understand the burden that is placed upon their shoulders.
Of which consists of protecting ourselves from ourselves…

So is our current president such a man?
At times it appears that he is…but only time will truly tell…
And what we can do in the meantime is to allow him his elected right to try.

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

Isaiah 35:4

24 comments on “we are our own victims

  1. @vapor_sage says:

    Hi again…more from Thomas Merton-“One of the effects of original sin, is an instinctive prejudice in favor of our own selfish desires. We see things as they are not because we see them centered on ourselves. Fear, anxiety, greed, ambition, and our hopeless need for pleasure all distort the image of reality that is reflected in our minds.” Peace be with you!

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    I could write a whole post about how I feel about DACA, but I’ll contain myself to reiterating what you said – ILLEGAL. That word seems to have lost its punch in recent years. Driving the speed limit is merely a suggestion – distracted driving isn’t a big deal – protesting with violent behavior is now considered free speech – law enforcement shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns? Where is all this taking us? A quick ride to hell.

  3. davidkitz says:

    Laws can be changed, and I suspect in the case of the “dreamers” this may yet happen. Fixing past wrongs and mistakes of the past always takes firm resolve and an enormous effort. That’s why getting it right the first time is so essential.

  4. “Contrary to or forbidden by law”…sometimes it is good to admit past mistakes and get it right going forward instead of looking back and trying to right ever wrong. I love the definition, “Contrary to or forbidden by law”. What a sad position we would be in if our God was not merciful. There is not one believer who has not received mercy upon mercy and grace upon grace because we could not keep the law. It was quite expensive to God to give His Son. The children are not responsible for the wrongs of their parents. This is the only country they have ever known. Perhaps we should put ourselves in their positions and believe we would have come of age and returned home. Perhaps some but I know myself well enough to know that I would not be in that number.
    Perhaps we should pray and ask God to help us know His ways through Scriptures such as below…
    Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7
    Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ Matthew 18:33
    For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13
    It is a very complicated issue as you have described…perhaps we do better going forward but admit our part in this, be merciful, and ask God’s help in getting it right going forward. At least, I know that I was a law breaker and God loved me to a better place and position in Christ. Blessings today!

    • Exactly —as our past choices and decisions (collectively as a nation as well as individually ) result in what we now reap– prayerful for our leaders and thankful for Gods abundant mercy and grace!

    • oneta hayes says:

      I believe that is what President Trump is trying to do. Get it right going forward. Existing under the same illegal ruling did not provide security for anyone. So why all the gripes from Obama, Dems and Media? Well, we know why all the gripes, don’t we? Heard Shumer yelling loudly. Why? Because it is in his lap to do something. If the President had kept DACA, they would have been on a rampage because it had not been turned to Congress where it rightly belonged. They all know it – even President Obama! He said it himself many times.

  5. hatrack4 says:

    I usually hesitate when making political statements. If you write from the heart,people tend to figure you out. Thanks for this post. I saw a petition going around Facebook to voice the opinion that the media needed to stop their personal (or corporate) agenda, and allow Trump to work toward his promised goals. Yet, every time we elect a president in troubled times, he is blamed for all of the past mistakes. Thanks again.

    I have been writing for our church’s prayer team about the political world and my overall theme is trust in God instead of the government.

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    I’m a child of an immigrant myself and from time to time I’m mystified that people forget the “illegal” in “illegal” immigrants. I think Tom’s point about Hezekiah and the analogy to Obama was a profound observation. This is not a politically correct post but this is a good post.

    • I’ve never been one to be politically correct but I strive for Truth– and whereas I can’t speak for Tom, I think he is much the same. We all make choices Jim and in those choices we expose not only ourselves but our friends, family and even strangers.. and in all of the choices is to be found various repercussions–both good and bad. When we choose a path that is tied to legalities, we must in turn expect to live with what all that entails. We cannot pick or pull out those unappealing aspects just because we don’t like them.
      We have had to put rules and laws in place because we need to have parameters of control to live in a fallen world. There has to be order. Democracies do a better job than other forms of governance because of their laws which are established by officials elected by the people– but sadly we are seeing an erosion of such as the picking and pulling out due to people no longer wanting governance but rather more of a free governance that lacks cause and effect. But what people are not comprehending is that their actions have consequences for a broad mass rather than just themselves.
      I’m am all for anyone applying for citizenship who wants to do the necessary steps — and assimilate to their newly desired home.
      If I moved to Saudi Arabia and wanted to become a Saudi citizen– a, that would never happen because the Saudis have a closed society for such but if they did– I would have to adopt Muslim and Saudi ways and customs as they would not change laws or language to accommodate my wanting to use English only. They would not build me churches or quiet their calls to prayer because it bothered perhaps my sabbath– and people will say that that is not a fair or correct sort of correlation or analogy but yet it is–
      We can’t expect places we wish to “escape” to to be little mirrors of our former lives–
      So anyway– just know that what troubles me is this picking and choosing we all seem to prefer now verses what was once our laws for living in this country of ours….

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