Saturday, January 20, 2007

Justice Demanded

On a Wednesday evening, 14-year-old Emmett walked into a grocery store on a dare, bought some gum, and then asked the 21-year-old clerk behind the counter out on a date.

While there were many who viewed this act as immature - yet innocent - others viewed it as an act of defiance that needed to be punished.

The teenager, Emmett Till - a black - had just joked with a white woman. In Mississippi.

Three days later, the clerk's husband and a friend took the teenager from his relatives house, and decided to teach him a lesson. After driving him to a riverbank, they pistol-whipped Emmett and saw that he was still defiant. Angered, they told Emmett to take off all his clothes.

"You still as good as I am," asked one of the men.

"Yeah," Emmett replied.

A loud "pop" ripped threw the air and Emmett hit the ground.

Four days later, Emmett's body was found in the river by a couple of boys who were fishing. Around the teenager's neck was a cotton gin fan, tied with barbed wire.

That January - 6 months after the killing - LOOK Magazine published an article with the confession of the two men who had been acquitted of all murder charges just months prior.

No one ever served time for the murder.

Everything in my being wants to cry out at injustice. Acts of injustice demand justice.

Hebrews 10:30 says, "For we know Him who said, 'Vengence is Mine, I will repay.'...It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

These men did not go free. They will be delivered into the hands of the Almighty. And, it will be terrifying.

Lord, guard our hearts from feeling pride at the fact that someone will "get their due" - and cause our hearts to break for those who may meet your wrath head-on. May it cause us to be more winsome and burdened for the lost.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Trusting in Chariots

Being one who is amazed at the miracle of flight, but not one who relishes being in flight, I am struck at the mental gymastics that I go through prior to entering a flight and during a flight. Some of my thoughts go something like this: "This airline has never had a catostrophic incident - I'll be okay"; "Flying is safer than driving - and so driving is when I should really be scared"; "Would I be scared right now, knowing that at days end, there would be no crashes, or no minor hiccups with this flight?"

After a few of these thoughts, I rest and trust, knowing the odds are likely in my favor.

But, my trust is short-lived - and misplaced. If I continue in these thought patterns, I will have to perform mental cartwheels, every time I fear, distrust, or find myself worrying. I need a firmer foundation.

The Psalmist writes, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."

and, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge."

It is an indictment on my heart that I take my refuge in chances, in odds and the ingenuity of fellow man - and not my God - my Rock.

When planes lose engines, and bridges fall, when cancer strikes all the bones, and sickness never seems to end - whom will never falter or sway? It is our Lord, our Redeemer, or Stronghold. In what or whom else can we trust?

Lord, give me a heart that trusts in You above all else. In times of plenty and times of want. Thank you.