Rev. Sabrina Ingram – Vlog 4

Being a Blessing

To begin, I’d like to express my condolences to the families of the victims who were killed on Sunday in Nova Scotia.  There are no words to express the horror and sadness people are feeling.  Please know we are praying for you.

 

Even before the rampage in NS, I’ve been noticing a rise in anger and violence.

  • Groups of angry Americans are protesting government sanctions to contain Corona Virus.
  • We’ve heard repeatedly of the rise in domestic violence, in child abuse, and in divorce
  • What I didn’t expect was that there’d be people spitting at each other.

 

I’ve recently heard of 2 incidents.  The first occurred when a Canadian of Chinese descent, was getting a coffee in Toronto.  A woman came up, blamed her for the pandemic, told her to go back to China and spat in her face.   Ironically, the victim was a nurse and had to stay home from work and self-isolate for 2 weeks.

 

The second was in a line up outside a store, when a woman asked a man to allow for more space between them.  The man then spat in her face.  This man was in his 70’s; you’d think he’d know better.   His response was unacceptable.  In this time of pandemic, spitting on someone is serious.  It’s pretty much an  assault with a deadly weapon.  And even if your spit isn’t deadly, there is a murderous intention behind the act.

 

Spitting on someone is a sign of utter contempt and disregard for a person’s humanity.  It robs them of dignity.  When I heard these stories, they brought to mind the soldiers spitting in Jesus’ face before he was crucified.

 

Soren Keirkegarde  – expression “that solitary individual” to remind us that humanity isn’t an impersonal lump, it’s made up of many distinct persons.

 

A story is told of a village which hides a fugitive.  After a few days, the enemy comes and demands they give him up.  When they refuse, the enemy threatens to burn down the village and kill every last person.   The terrified people turn to their pastor for guidance.  That night the pastor stays up praying and concludes Pastor

it’s better for one man to die than for the whole village to be destroyed.   So, the enemy takes the fugitive away.  That night, pastor can’t sleep.  An Angel appears and asks what he’s done.  The Pastor says he betrayed the fugitive.  The angel says, “yes and that fugitive was Christ.”   The Pastor is distraught, and asks,  “how could I have known?”  The Angel responds,  “If you had gone to the fugitive and looked in his eyes, you’d have known”

 

It’s easy for us to see the enemy all around us.  We look at every individual as a threat to our well-being.  It’s only human to be feeling on edge.  We’re all getting antsy; many are stressed financially; parents have been locked in the house with bored children; worried for our loved ones; people in grief.    We’re all capable of angry emotions and ugly re-actions.  When we truly look into the eyes of another person, we see them as we would see Jesus and we treat that solitary individual with dignity.  And when we treat others with dignity, we begin to see the Spirit of Christ within ourselves.

 

As Paul reminded the all too human Christians of his day,

“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, bitterness, wrath, anger and slander.   Be kind and gentle with one another; sensitive; tender-hearted.  Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4: 31 & 32

 

So, the next time you’re agitated and on the verge of saying or doing something that will degrade another person, take a deep breath, count to ten, look softly into the person’s eyes, remember they are a wonder and a mystery – a beloved child of God  –   who, like you, is also carrying a heavy burden, and respond in a way that makes the world an easier, more pleasant place to be.  Make a life-giving choice.   Be a blessing.

 

Prayer:

God of grace, you lift us up; you love us.  Help us to do the same for one another.  Give us kind hearts.  Help us to see your image in one another.     Comfort all who mourn, especially those who have lost loved ones in this pandemic and those who lost loved ones in Nova Scotia.    Be with our frontline workers.  Keep us healthy in body, mind and spirit.  Amen.

 

May God bless you and keep you.