All people are created equal, but not all people are treated equally.
I sat on the floor of an apartment today with a client and friend. I listened as a local police officer spoke to the 19 year old mother of two. He lectured her. He spoke down to her. He said some things that were true, but in such a way that she’d never be able to hear them. I wondered if he could see her sitting in the corner of the room, knees pulled to her chest, shaking and rocking and sobbing. He asked her about specific time frames and exact words. I about bit my tongue off, trying not to ask him point blank, “have you ever been scared, Sir? terrified? traumatized?” You don’t exactly check you watch to note what exact time you were abused. You don’t memorize the words of a threat. Doesn’t the police force get training on domestic violence? sensitivity? something?
I looked at her.
I wanted to tell her that everyone would do their jobs and that it would be all okay and that the bad guy would get his. But she’s heard all that before. She grew up in the system. She knows better than I do how little it works.
I left with a promise to return. I called David and vented in the way you can only to people who love you and who will edit your words in their own head and hear what you’re saying and not how you’re saying it.
I am at the church now, sitting upstairs in the cafe, sipping water and trying to talk my pulse down from the ledge. I am trying to gather my thoughts, decide what to do, wager in my mind how much license I can take with my job in regard to my faith.
Sitting here, reflecting on a world that is very much at a loss for righteousness and order, I can’t help but be thankful for Jesus. Not only does the Bible clearly state that God doesn’t judge outward appearances or make delineations between male and female, rich or poor, free or slave but Jesus showed with His actions that there was a way made for the underdog.
I love John chapter 4. Jesus, a Jew and a popular rabbi, could have been voted least likely speak to a Samaritan woman. But when he came to the well and she was there, He did just that. He spoke to her, to her needs, to her heart. He didn’t mince words or soft shoe around the truth, but He loved her with the truth. And guess what? It changed her life and it changed her city.
The police officer today is a man and maybe he was having a rough day and was off his game or something. I am sure he’s a nice man.
But I saw what I saw. I know that if he came into my home he would’ve conducted himself differently. He would have said different things. He wouldn’t have lectured me. He wouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss my concerns.
This world isn’t right and I am thankful to know their is a Kingdom that has come and is coming- one that we can lay hold of- where righteousness is a cornerstone. I am thankful to know and love and trust a God who would never react differently to a person because of a low-income housing or food stamps or even their own bad choices.