Trayvon Martin’s Blood On My Hands

George Zimmerman,The verdict is in and George Zimmerman has been found not guilty of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. This case has broken two  families, shaken a town, put a state in the judicial crosshairs, and divided once again our great nation. So if George Zimmerman is not guilty, who is? My conclusion is that I have a little bit of Trayvon Martin’s blood on my own hands.

I could ask people, “What do you think about the verdict?” or “How do you feel about the verdict?” but if I don’t ask… and answer the question, “What have I learned from this tragedy?” I have wasted the opportunity to grow as an individual. I miss the opportunity of God working something beneficial in me from the tragic situation on the night of February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. What I have learned from this sad chain of events is that I share part of the guilt of Trayvon Martin’s death. How did I come to this conclusion? I started digging and peeling back some layers over the past thirty years of my adult life. I dug down to the root of problem.

I could have stayed at, “If George Zimmerman would have never gotten out of the car, Trayvon Martin would still be alive.” However, As I dug, I asked myself, “Why was Zimmerman even in the car?” I obviously realized he was on his way to Target but why did he have his Neighborhood Watch hat on while driving in his neighborhood that night? Another scoop of dirt led me to ask, “Why was this neighborhood broken into in the first place?” Who committed these crimes and why were not caught? If I had stopped digging there, I would have concluded that local police and the lack of home security systems have failed us as a society. However, I kept on digging. I told myself, “If I am going to blame George Zimmerman for getting out of a car for trying to make his neighborhood safer, I must blame police for not protecting this neighborhood, and the government for not providing a free home security system for every American. It was a crazy conclusion as I thought of how much our deficit would increase with hiring the police we need in every school and neighborhood. Add to it the cost of a home security system for every American home who could not afford one. Then I realized I must place blame on the people who committed the crimes in his neighborhood that led Zimmerman to his reaction to their actions. They were nowhere to be found… imagine that.

parents-trayvon-martin-parents100The people who had been breaking the 8th Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Steal”, were at the bottom of this tragedy and there I thought I had my guilty party but I dug one more time.

In recent years we have asked that the 10 Commandments to be removed from public display. Yes, at the root of this story are people across our nation breaking the 8th Commandment, causing neighborhoods to take action, causing people like George Zimmerman to purchase guns, causing people like him, black and white, to follow people that fit descriptions of those who had been committing these crimes.

My travels down the road of cause and effect led me to a dead end that I did not want to be at. Surely, George Zimmerman, along with countless Americans have guns because they feel our government can’t protect them and their homes anymore, thus, the reason for the rise of gun sales and security systems over the past 50 years.

We, the people, don’t want the 10 Commandments in our schools and government buildings anymore and God is slowly showing us what happens when we remove His ethics from a society. He has been showing us that for decades now. A new generation has grown up in America absent of God and the Bible directly influencing their daily lives.

At the dead end of the road of “cause and effect” I dug one last time and hit rock bottom and saw that, we as a nation have rejected God’s Word time and time again. Our first president, George Washington, said it best, ““It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” When I got down to the bottom of the issue, I realized we had not only rejected the wisdom of our first president, we had rejected the wisdom of our Creator and our God. In God We Trust has just become words on our lips and our currency. The reality of this grave matter is this: When we all travel down the  road of cause and effect and do a little digging, we all may discover a little of Trayvon Martin’s blood on our hands.

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Jesus Therapy… a day at His Spa

ImageI recently took trips with my family to Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest and Ichetucknee Springs near High Springs, Florida.They were great trips filled with many great memories. In fact, going into the Ichetucknee trip I had fond memories of tubing the river as a teenager with my youth group in Georgia, where I grew up. I remember traveling down to Florida and spending a fun filled day with friends from my church. We did encounter a Florida afternoon rain shower on one of those trips which produces the memory of one of the coldest, and yet  one of the hottest days of my life. At one point on the river while it was raining, I was on my hands and knees on my inner tube trying to stay out of the 72 degree water. Back in the 80’s we tubed down the river on a tractor tire inner tube. After we got off the river we were sitting on our hot church bus, and I began to think, “I have never gone from being so cold, to so hot, so fast.”

I was delighted that my family did not encounter rain on our trip. The river has a way of producing enough goose bumps on one’s body without any help from rain. The crystal clear river has a therapeutic element to it. All the Florida springs I have experiences seem to have that effect. I realize why Achsah, Caleb’s daughter, in Joshua 15 asked her dad for the springs. She found something in them that she wanted to make sure she was close to them. It’s interesting that Achsah asked her dad for a blessing, and then for the springs. They were high on her priority list.

What makes them so therapeutic and inviting? I realize as people travel to Florida they think of Disney and the beaches but there is nothing like swimming in God’s swimming pools. In fact I believe these springs are a beautiful word picture to many attributes and characteristics of God Himself.

First of all, I think of springs as being refreshing. Some people like to slowly wade into the springs, which to me can be agonizing. Just plunging in is the way to go. It can be extremely refreshing, just like God. I can remember Steven Curtis Chapman singing the song Dive.

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Taking the Plunge at Juniper

Caught in the rush lost in the flow in over my head I want to go

The river’s deep the river’s wide the river’s water is alive

So sink or swim I’m diving in

 

God is refreshing and He wants to daily refresh our life with His Word, His love, His guidance, and yes, even His commands. When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery in John 8, He made two statements to her. Both statements were full of grace and love, and both statements were refreshing. He told her, “Neither do I condemn you” and then He said, “Go and sin no more.” I find God’s love just as strong in command as I do the forgiveness. Remember, God’s refreshing is in every word He gives us.

The springs are pure, just like God. There are communities down here in Florida that have made a great deal of money bottling pure water from God’s springs. There are greater springs that Jesus offer each and every one of us. When Jesus encounter the woman at the well in John 4, He told her of waters that the well they sat at could not produce. He spoke to her about “Living Water” that He freely gives to those who with come to Him by faith. He told her that the water that He gives would make it where she would never thirst again. Not only that, but His water would well up inside of her producing eternal life! Jesus wants to flow His purity into our lives and through our lives. The impurity of this world, and in some cases the church, are all around us. We are all seeing the impact, and consequences of sin in our culture. However, Jesus is saying to us, drink of My pure, living water and never thirst again.

Last of all, the springs are therapeutic. They have a way of making one feel younger. I over heard one young lady exiting a blue hole say, “This is like a day at the spa!” If we allow Jesus resurrect our dead spirit, like He did the woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well, He will faithfully start bringing therapy to our soul. Our soul is made up of our mind (our thinker), will (our chooser), and emotions (our feeler). Those three areas of my life needs Jesus therapy every day! As I come and drink, dive in, and swim of Christ’s abundant springs of water I find days of refreshing, I feel His purity and it’s effects of my weary soul and body. I experience Jesus Therapy and it’s like a day at the spa.