The Court of Public Opinion

The court of public opinion is a terrible, terrible court. The judge is jaded, the jury predisposed to judge the case based on emotion and not facts, and the attorneys for both sides are mute.

That's why years and years and years ago, it was established that justice would be much better served if 12 impartial people heard the facts of a trial and determined the outcome.

Is the American system of justice perfect? Absolutely not.

Innocent people go to jail.

Guilty people are set free.

It happens every single day.

And though I never venture out into these political waters, I thought that for today, I would weigh in.

Picture for just a moment, that Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were both white, or both black, or black and Asian, or Asian and Asian (you get the point).  Picture for the moment that the two parties to this case were NOT black and white.

The court of public opinion would be a mute court; I feel certain of it.

I feel certain of it because I think this case has way more to say about the vast racial divide that still exists in our country than it does about blind justice or a failed judicial system.

I don't know if George Zimmerman was innocent or guilty of murder. I didn't hear the case, other than the pieces I was fed through the media. He was guilty of a lot of things that ultimately ended in the death of young man.  And that is tragic. And tragically wrong.  But even if Trayvon Martin was 100% to blame (and I'm not saying he was), his death would be no less tragic, and no less wrong, no less devastating to those who loved him.

All that to say, my heart is deeply saddened by all that this case has revealed about us.  Not us as a nation, us as human beings.

Sitting in the Middle of the Road

I was driving home last Friday  morning from an early morning walk with friends.  For a Friday, the roads were surprisingly empty, but I suppose it's because it was the Friday after the Fourth of July and more people than usual were sleeping in.

As I drove, somewhat lost in my own thoughts, I happened to notice a gorgeous black lab sitting in the median up ahead of me.  He sat there, very stoic-looking, and incredibly relaxed for a dog sitting in a median. As I approached, I realized he was sitting next to another dog who was dead.

When I got home, I couldn't shake the image of the beautiful black lab standing guard over what I can only assume was his friend, his fellow traveler, his mate.  He didn't appear to be anxious, or waiting for help.  He simply sat, perhaps still in shock, perhaps mourning, perhaps simply not knowing what to do next.

Feeling His Pain

And oddly, I felt a kinship to his story.  A very huge part of what I know to be "me" is gone.  And I find that I am simply sitting, somewhat in shock (yes, still), somewhat in mourning, and somewhat simply not knowing what to do next.

On a walk with a friend this morning, I was explaining to her that I feel lost in trying to re-establish community within the church.  And it occurred to me as we talked, that all the reasons I give for not being "able" to find a church to attend are excuses. The real reason is that I am mad "at" the church, and therefore don't really want to attend any church.

She told me that was like having a bad experience with an oil and gas company and deciding I just wasn't going to ever buy oil and gas again. . . (or something like that . . . I was in the moment. It was beautiful when she said it.)

The Middle of the Road

At its core, I have unforgiveness in my heart.  I am frozen in that unforgiveness, and I am the only one who can really do anything at all about it.  It's somewhat disheartening to know that I have within myself, the Power to set myself free.  And yet, like that beautiful black lab, I choose to sit, frozen in the middle of the road, unable or unwilling to move.

All that to say, knowing WHAT to do and DOING it are often two very different things. I can't sit here in the middle of the road much longer, for it's a very dangerous place to sit. I am assured that God's best for me is still ahead of me.  I'm just gonna need to get ON the road and out of the middle of it.