Belonging

Marshall is healing, both emotionally and physically. His jaw is still a bit swollen, and an ugly red scratch still mars his right temple. But overall we are praising God for his health.

Many people have been overwhelmingly kind and supportive of Marshall and our family offering help, prayer, and words of encouragement. A few comments have set me to pondering. One was a comment made by the police officer who took Marshall’s statement. She warned me, “He just don’t belong here. He’s white and skinny and wears glasses. He stands out.” So should we never go where we stand out? Do we stay away from the places where we don’t belong? Do we avoid what makes us uncomfortable? I don’t think that as a believer in Jesus Christ we can accept the simple answer of avoidance.  On the other hand I cannot negate common sense, and caution either. Is their value in repudiating the status quo?
One of my friends yesterday who lives not far from where Marshall was attacked, said that nearly a dozen Caucasian kids live in her neighborhood and not one of them has been attacked. Her point is that we jump to quickly to the conclusion that Marshall’s experience is a race or class issue. But if it’s not a race or class issue, then why? Why was Marshall singled out? I guess the reason we seek that answer, is because an explanation gives us security. It helps us to justify the event in our minds and plan so as not to experience such pain again.  Unfortunately, in this case and so many like it, there is not justification. There is no explanation that will satisfy the questions. The bottom line truth is we live in a sin-sick world. Evil abounds. We cannot run; we cannot hide. If we do, we are not a light, and we are not salt.

While I don’t have the answers I would love to, I do know one thing. God led us to this city and he led my children to the schools they are in, in the neighborhoods they are in. Can He protect Marshall in this vulnerable position? Can He give grace and wisdom for us to effectively live in this new environment? Is He God of this city? Is He the God of our lives? If so then we belong. We belong to Him, and we belong exactly where He puts us.

 


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