The Jury’s Still Out

While we’re waiting on the George Zimmerman jury’s decision maybe we need to take a personal poll of our own shortcomings. Of course, Zimmerman’s offense is more than a shortcoming, but I’m neither judge nor jury in this case. I’m going to look at my own reflection in the mirror rather than glue myself to the TV awaiting the verdict.

I think of the story where a young boy walked into a drug store and asked to use the telephone. He dialed a particular number and said: “Hello, Dr. Anderson…Do you want to hire a boy to cut the grass and run errands for you? Oh, you already have somebody? Are you completely satisfied with the boy you have? Okay, then, goodbye, Doctor.” As the boy thanked the druggist for letting him use his phone, the druggist said: “Just a minute, Son…If you’re looking for work, I could use somebody like you.” The boy replied, “Thank you, Sir, but I already have a job” The druggist asked, “But didn’t I just hear you trying to get a job from Dr. Anderson?” “Not exactly, Sir,” the boy replied, “You see, I’m the boy who is working for Dr. Anderson. I was just checking up on myself.”

Rather than pointing fingers at either George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin, we need to check up on ourselves. What would we have done differently? What can we do in the future? It may be that George and Trayvon both were ultimately acting out of a place of fear or mistrust.  Something as simple as an introduction, or even the briefest of conversations, very likely could have averted this tragedy.  How does that inform our most basic encounters of other people every day?

How can we make this world a place where we get along and truly love our neighbors? Jesus and the Gospels declare everyone as sinner and potential saint. Everyone is counted as desirable by God even if they don’t fit our neighborhood demographic. We don’t have any right to stick our noses up in the air and say that we’re any better than anyone else. Our fumbling efforts at making the world a better place is indictment enough. We all know that we can do better, and need to quit making assumptions that either paints a guy as a “stalker” or as an “*%^#!&” crook. We are all guilty, and the responsibility falls upon us to make things right for both the Trayvon Martin’s and the George Zimmerman’s of the world.

For me, the answer comes through Jesus and more than wearing a W.W.J.D. bracelet. To change the world we need to wear a W.W.J.R.D. (What Would Jesus REALLY Do?) bracelet and then actually do it! There’s a fable about making the world a better place that really challenges me: A sparrow says to a dove, “Tell me the weight of a single snowflake?” “Nothing more than nothing,” was the dove’s answer. “In that case, I must tell you a marvelous story,” said the sparrow, “I sat on a branch of a fir tree, close to its trunk when it began to snow – not heavily, not in a raging blizzard – no, just like a dream, without a sound, and without any violence, and since I didn’t have anything else better to do, I started counting the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,952. When the 3,741,953rd snowflake dropped onto the branch, ‘nothing more than nothing,’ as you say, the branch broke off.” Having said that, the sparrow flew away. The dove, since Noah’s time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for awhile, and finally said to herself, “Perhaps only one person’s sacrifice is lacking for peace to come to the world.”

What can I do, or we do to make the world a better place?

15 thoughts on “The Jury’s Still Out

  1. “Do all the good you can,
    by all the means you can,
    in all the ways you can,
    in all the places you can,
    at all the times you can,
    to all the people you can,
    as long as ever you can.”

    Father John didn’t say it, but it’s still a fine idea, and I think he’d approve of the effort. It’s a moment by moment thing, this new life in Christ, and there are no insignificant moments.

  2. Well said. Well said. Each one of us rightly using the time and talent and resources God has blessed us with will change the world.

    1. Thanks, Becky – prayers for Trayvon’s family and all of us as we seek justice, love mercy, and seek to walk humbly with God. Peace, tim

      Sent from my iPad

      On Jul 13, 2013, at 10:22 PM, “A Potter’s View”

    1. Thanks, Lucy! I’m afraid there are no easy answers and want to encourage everyone to pray the prayer of St. Francis:

      Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

      Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury,pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

      O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

      Sent from my iPad

  3. Amen. I wish more people were reading this, and striving to have more peace and joy, starting with them. Emily

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Thank you for these words, Tim! I am confused about the Zimmerman-Martin situation…but this helps me to realize that there is something I can do…be a better person!

  5. Well said Tim. There seems to be an awful lot of “religious” people who think they speak for God. Funny thing is, they’re on both sides of the issue. Maybe they do speak for God or maybe they don’t. More than likely the truth will be somewhere in between the polarizing views It probably would be more appropriate for us to wear WTWKWJWD bracelets. That’s “We think we know what Jesus would do.” and pray that we are right. We will still get it wrong many times. Let’s pray for grace and wisdom, but more importantly let’s pray that God will convict us to serve as peacemakers in the best way we can, no matter where our own personal views may lie.

    1. Steve, Thanks as always for your insights and the bracelet you name is more appropriate because we have morphed God into our likeness more than us being shaped into God’s. Praying for grace, tim

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