Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
(driving into Atlanta from the west / Julie Cook / 2020)
Nearly 40 years ago when I first moved away from home, having taken my first teaching position
in a small city about an hour’s drive west of Atlanta, this was the view that would
herald my return to the city.
This was the view I would see, as I crested the last hill on the interstate before I was near my
It is the view of the city as seen coming in from the west on 285, just before Six Flags.
It is also a view of a city that has only grown in its vista’s expanse over these
past 40 years.
And yet what a deceiving view it is currently.
This particular Sunday morning there were a few popcorn clouds dotting a sweeping blue
summer’s sky coupled with a lighter than average load of traffic—
all of which just might deceive one into thinking that everything was peachy perfect and
right with the world.
But I knew differently.
I was heading over to stay with the Mayor and Sheriff as their mom had some
appointments Monday morning–but I knew that life in Atlanta was not what it seemed
to be from this bucolic meets urban vista as seen from afar on this Sunday morning.
There had been an arrest gone bad over the weekend and once again,
there was someone resisting arrest.
This person made the decision to wrest a taser from an officer then opted to
run away while pointing the taser back at the officers, and thus…
he was shot and killed.
The choices we make can be life-altering, and even life-ending,
yet we don’t seem to grasp the severity of such choices.
Crowds once again gathered overnight, not to simply protest, but opting rather to riot–
shutting down the major downtown interstate and burning a Wendy’s to the ground.
The same Wendy’s that had been the scene of the altercation.
Police were again immediately fired—and thus so much for due process at the workplace.
And the Atlanta police chief, who had just been praised a mere week prior for her
steely approach to Atlanta’s chaos, averting catastrophe, sadly abruptly resigned.
Groups such as the NAACP cried for the white sheriff’s head on a platter.
And so I was driving and the city grew closer with each passing mile,
I wondered what sort of mayhem was now simmering in the city of my birth.
According to news outlets both local and national…Atlanta is a city on edge.
I did not see that during my stay…but then again I was watching during the day
and was not visiting downtown.
It would behoove us to always remember that looks may indeed be decieving…
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.