Zero Visibility

 For we walk by faith, not by sight…[2 Corinthians 5:7]


As I turned the door handle to exit my home, the morning breeze wrapped around my face and kissed my cheeks as I walked to my car.  My senses were a bit more heightened than usual because of the brisk autumn air.  The pep in my step was restored as I enthusiastically took in a deep breath and savored the cool air as it entered my lungs.  The incessant rain had come and gone, and left a dense layer of fog in its wake.  In fact, I had not seen fog that dense since I was a lad.  My drive to work was slow and steady, as I struggled to see.  The fog was so thick, it was like driving through a huge cloud.  I couldn’t see opposing traffic until the headlights of each automobile zoomed past me.   Although I fancy myself an experienced driver, I was a little intimidated, because I was experiencing what meteorologists call zero visibility.

Many times I’ve found my walk with God to be much like driving in fog.  You don’t realize how scary driving can be until you lose visibility.  Our emotions, decisions, and lives are driven by not only what we see around us, but also how we see what is around us.  Examine your present situation.  Are there areas in your life where you are experiencing zero visibility?  You know God is working on your behalf and for your good, because you love Him…but because you can’t see far enough ahead to know how things are going to work out, your journey becomes foggy.

2 Corinthians 5:7 brings to light an important truth for the believer.  We live our lives in a constant state of flux between the visible and the invisible.  When I first read this scripture, I understood it to mean that we don’t live our lives by what we see, but rather by believing and standing on what God has already said in His word.  That’s powerful indeed, but closer examination of this scripture casts light upon a different revelation.  The fact that we walk by faith and not by sight unfurls the truth that sometimes faith is all we have to light our path.  It’s not that we don’t like what we see in front of us at the time, so we choose to walk by faith; that’s not what this scripture implies.  Rather think about it this way, sometimes, we simply just can’t see in front of us, so our faith in God is the only light we have.  When our vision fails, and our visibility is severely handicapped, we can’t stop moving.  Just because I couldn’t see as I was driving through the thick, foggy cloud, doesn’t mean that I could have just stopped in the middle of the road until things got better.  I had to keep moving.  I had to keep driving.  Here’s a word for you:

For where you are right now, it’s more detrimental for you to stop moving, than it is to keep moving with limited visibility.

I may not have been able to see as far as I normally could, but I was able to see just far enough ahead of me to keep my foot on the accelerator.  So, I say this to you…

You may not be able to see as far into your situation as you would like to.  You may not be able to see how your story is going to culminate from where you stand; but KEEP DRIVING.  God always gives you enough light to take the next step:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…[Psalm 119:105]

Faith in God gives us the power to keep pressing the accelerator.  Keep on driving.

Be encouraged, my friends.  Fog is a good thing.  Why?  I remember asking my mother to explain fog to me when I was a young child.  This is what she told me…

Fog happens when the clouds come down from heaven and kiss the earth below.  It means the rain is over, and soon the sun is  going to shine.

You may be in a foggy season in your life now, and you’re wondering if the sun is going to ever shine again.  I just drove through the fog to tell you that heaven is about to kiss your life.  The fog is lifting, and the sun is about to shine upon you again.

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning [Psalm 30:5]

Editor: Jaime Evans


Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

 

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill.  See you soon.

BE

 

 

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Wisdom Wednesday: When Fear Kills

In the wake of the shooting of Missouri teen, Mike Brown, let’s talk about authority and the varieties thereof.  Before you make assumptions about how this post will play out, you should know that I’m not into police bashing.  I think it’s insensitive and totally unnecessary to cast judgment before all the facts have been uncovered.  The institution of  law enforcement has its place and purpose, and is even biblically sound (see–Romans 13:1-4). 

That being said, there is another side to this coin.  Because of our fallen nature, sin has infected each of us, and the primary symptom of this infection is fear.  Consequently, fear causes irrational responses within us.  This creates a problem when people in authority–namely police officers–are placed in life-threatening situations.  These volitile situations create a heightened awareness and sensitivity that make Skittles bags appear to be guns.  Death of the unarmed occurs at the confluence of power and fear; whether that power is clothed in a uniform with a badge or a flawed legislation (i.e. Stand Your Ground).  This is fastly becoming an epidemic  in our society based on most recent events. 

There is a proven disparity between the races when it comes to these tragic events of late.  The landscape of the African-American community is frought with families that have been affected by the loss of loved-ones due to irrational and unjustified deadly force.  The relationship between law enforcement and the community seems the be the most strained where African-Americans are predominant.  Of course, this is nothing new to the citizens of these communities, but that doesn’t seem to spark much change in this paradigm.  In fact, many of the laws that are in effect today were designed to target people of certain racial descent.     

According to a book I recently read, Between Barak and a Hard Place, by Tim wise, the current “war on drugs” instituted in the late 1990’s, was loosely intended to shift the focus of law enforcement to rest heavily upon people of color.  This resulted in a disproportionate ratio of arrests, persecutions, and random consent searches between whites and people of color.  Here are some interesting stats sited by Tim Wise in his book:

  • Blacks are 48 times more likely than whites to be incarcerated for a fisrt-time drug offense.
  • In fifteen states, the rate of black incarceration for drug offenses is anywhere from 20 to 57 times greater than for whites, despite equal or greater rates of drug law violations by whites.
  • Blacks are twice as likely to be sent to prison for cocaine use than whites, when all of the factors surrounding an arrest are the same, and serve on average 40 months more than white offenders.

These statistics are so because of one key point:

  • According to another study conducted in Oakland, CA in 2013:African-Americans stopped by police were searched 42 percent of the time, compared to 27 percent for Latinos and 17 percent for whites and Asians. Yet, those searches resulted in the recovery of contraband 27 percent of the time for African-Americans and Latinos, 28 percent of the time for whites and 25 percent of the time for Asians.

Naturally, there are things that African-American youth-especially men-need to understand when dealing with the police.  Certain things make you an easier target and a bigger threat capable of escalating a bad situation into an even worse one extremely quickly.  In no way am I saying that the culprits are always blameless when confronted by the police, but it should never warrant deadly force without proper judgment.  With authority comes the resposibility of proper judgment.  There is a cycle of hostility that exists between African-Americans and law enforcement that never favors the side of the perpetrator.  Any signs of resistance or sudden, unexpected moves tend to exacerbate the situation and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: that African-Americans are hostile, resistant, and deserve unreasonable and sometimes deadly force.

One could argue that because of these types of confirmations, people of color should fear law enforcement.  The hostility that so animates the demeanor of African-Americans when confronted by law enforcement could be result of the constant menacing scrutiny of the police.  This, in turn, leads to hostility in law enforcement when confronting African-Americans, which in the cases of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and many others…ultimately leads to death of the unarmed. 

 

Let’s talk:  Some pressing questions need to be asked:

  1. What do statistics like this really speak of?
  2. Do people of color deserve this type of treatment due to a lack of morals?
  3. Are people of color so menacing, so aggresive, so hostile that the use of deadly force becomes the norm instead of the exception?

 

What do you think?  All comments welcomed.

 

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill.  See you soon.

Keep LearningKeep Loving ♦ Keep Living

 

BE