I’m interrupting the Do You Know series for a couple news items.
What’s going on in Ferguson, MO? I understand that a young man was killed, and the community is in mourning. However, it’s moved passed mourning into chaos. Why? The family has asked that folks not loot and destroy property. Yet it continues. Why? What causes otherwise normal people to descend into the darkest recesses of their beings, to rob, steal and destroy property?
This past weekend, Beale Street, a popular street that hosts many blues clubs, in Memphis, TN was plunged into darkness due to a substation going down. While I enjoy the blues I don’t condone the bar atmosphere found on Beale Street. That said, with most of down town dark, and the many alarm systems were not functioning due to a lack of electricity, I didn’t see news stories of rioting and looting. Granted no one was shot, but why was there restraint in Memphis when a free for all looting event could have taken place? The Memphis PD began asking folks to go home around 10:00pm. Guess what? They went home or back to their hotels (many of which were also without electricity).
Lastly, I turn to Louisville, KY. The town’s law enforcement was on standby for a “Purge Event.” This event was a hoax spread by a high school student, but it cost the community funds to pay for the increased police presence throughout the city, and a couple of surrounding towns as well. Why? There are now rumors of a “Purge Event” coming to more than a dozen large metropolitan cities across eight states. For those of you, like me, who aren’t familiar with what The Purge is; it’s based on a movie that was released earlier this year, The Purge: Anarchy. The basis of the movie is that one night a year, for twelve hours, everything is legal, including murder. It’s not a film I’d recommend for anyone. What would motivate the teenager to cause so much concern that a local high school football scrimmage was postponed to Saturday morning, “just in case.” By the way, there were many posting on social media that what was happening in Memphis was because a Purge was taking place. There was even a real time blog/Twitter feed with fictitious happenings by an “eye witness.” Obviously, this wasn’t the case.
Is chaos that close in our country, that an alleged overreaction by a police officer or a phony flier calling for a Purge would cause otherwise normal people to plunge into darkness? What can we do to correct the course? One obvious answer is prayer, and pray.afa.net has a daily prayer that one can use. More than that I think we need to get our churches involved in street ministry again. Go to where the hurting and the homeless are. Go to where the blues clubs are and offer an alternative. Open your church on a Friday night to offer an alternative. Life in American is more than a 9-5 and Sunday morning life style. With that in mind it means that I have to be ready to leave the comfort of my home after working all week to help should my church decide to do something. Please understand there are communities where churches are doing something but there are many more that aren’t. We can pray for revival in America all we want but, unless we are willing to be the hands and feet of Christ, then our communities will stay just one step away from chaos.