It's 5:00 a.m. on black Friday. I am sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee watching the latest video footage from stores all around the country. I see videos of people fighting. I see people pushing and shoving one another. I hear people cursing at people whom they have never even met.
Four nights ago I sat on this same couch watching live footage from Ferguson, MO. I watched people bash windows, steal things that did not belong to them. I heard people yell profanities at people whom they had never met. I witnessed people destroy property that did not belong to them.
The similarities between Monday night's illegal looting and violence and Friday morning's legal looting and violence are scary. While much of the nation was appalled on Monday night by what occurred, few even flinch on Friday morning as much of the same behavior is demonstrated. On Monday night, reporters were dismayed. On Friday morning, those same reporters laugh and joke about what is dismissed as, "people's excitement" to get a good deal.
Here are the sad truths:
Monday night and Friday morning are both rooted in the same issue. Both are a result of people feeling pain and a lack of value. People are hurting and desperate and as a result of this feeling people go searching for an answer that will never be found through politics, our justice system, black Friday deals, or the latest and greatest gadgets. What our world is experiencing is simply the result of sin, separation from God. Sin causes people to not value other people. Sin causes people to not value other people's stuff. Sin causes people to look for value and worth in the pursuit of things. Listen, we are functioning outside of the bounds that we were created to function in.
Humanity is the pinnacle of God's creation and as such we were created for more than this. We, all of us: black, white, rich, poor, urban, rural, male, female, young and old were designed to be in communion with God. When we learn to accept God's forgiveness and God's value for our lives and the lives of those around us, we will stop searching. We will stop lashing out. We will stop fighting.