When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” -John 5:6
My heart is sad, today, as I think about the terrible mess that is “The Ferguson Situation,” and how that torn community stands as a microcosm of what’s gone wrong in so many places around our country.
Worse still is the outpouring of cynicism, judgment, stereotyping, political posturing, racism, finger-pointing, character assassination, and polarization that seems to be the knee-jerk reaction of so many people on social media. Why do we click “like” and “share” so often when we see something hateful or hurtful, but ignore voices of reason and reconciliation that speak with truth and with love?
What happened in Ferguson was a tragedy. It was tragic for everyone involved: for the young man who shot Michael Brown; for Michael Brown’s family; for the Ferguson police department; for the Ferguson community.
A-B-C: Every tragedy, however, can provide a new opportunity to address the factors that led to that moment. In education, we call it an “A-B-C” analysis. Antecedent; Behavior; Consequence. We – and by “we” I mean everyone with a stake in the situation – take a long, hard look at what led up to what happened, the event itself, and then what happened as a result.
In Ferguson, it’s critically important that all parties get involved in what is now nothing less than a prime opportunity for forward progress as a community.
The last thing they need is for the rest of us to pour gasoline on the fire.
It’s time to get over ourselves, and our petty personal prejudices; it’s time to look at the A-B-C’s, and see what we can all learn from a terrible tragedy that should never happen again.
There is no social problem that can’t be solved if the parties involved really want to move forward. But then that’s the question, isn’t it… Do we want to be healed? Do we? And that applies to all of us, doesn’t it?
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
Peace – and I mean that – DEREK