Let me tell you a story? It’s kind of different than most, in that, it is not purely truth, or hypothetical, it is a combination there of. If it sounds a bit confusing, just keep reading, and hopefully it will make sense soon, and also make you think.
I read a news story online today, about a 14 year old Muslim boy named Ahmed Mohamed, who “Enjoys tinkering with electronics”, and build a fully functioning clock, by hand, by himself. He then proceeded to proudly bring it to school to show his teachers and classmates what he had accomplished. However, instead of pride, enthusiasm, and encouragement, he was met with questions by school officials and police, search and secure of his personal belongings at school, suspension, and ultimately being taken from school in handcuffs, all because his teacher personally decided that Ahmed Mohamed’s clock looked too much like it COULD be a bomb. This child, so proud of his work, who could be a genius, if not the makings of a brilliant engineer, was harassed, questioned, and punished for his intelligence, all because of his race and religion prompting discomfort to his teacher.
This is the true part, so let’s get a little hypothetical here, and probe how this could have gone for any other child in his class, you see, he wouldn’t have been the only one profiled these days for his actions. Let’s see how this could have played out for them, and before you try to judge the suggestions, take a moment and really think about it, and compare it to all the stories we’ve been hearing. Pretty sure they will sound painfully familiar.
So, here we go. All these children have, hypothetically completed the same project, and this is the subsequent result.
Another child in the class, a blonde girl, named Sally, who had thus far been a pretty average student, completed the project, of building a fully functioning clock, by herself, by hand. She is questioned, and suspected of cheating, because there is no way she could have done that herself!
A third, an African-American young man, named De’Quan, achieved the same; he is not only accused of cheating, but of stealing the parts to build the item in question.
Next, a young Latino boy named Juan shows his work. He however, is completely forgotten personally, and turned in to a statistic, in the school’s attempt to praise their own ability to educate the underprivileged immigrants of America, illegal or otherwise.
And lastly, a brown haired, blue eyed Caucasian boy named Steve displays his masterpiece, and immediately is given an A, enrolled in the Honor’s Society, given academic scholarships, hailed a genius and goes on to attend an Ivy League University and become a renowned engineer.
Now, let me ask you, does this sound about right? Is this not how the mentality of America has become? Now, does this sound fair? I hope not! Our society has become so quick to judge someone’s beliefs, views, mental capacity, and even human rights, based merely on race and religion. We are far too quick to elevate one and dismiss another for the same behavior simply based on what they look like.
Let’s take a moment to see what The Bible has to say about this, shall we?
Acts 17:26 (ESV) “And he made from one make every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place…”
When God spread the people across the earth from Babel and confused their languages in Genesis 11, He didn’t change anything about their humanity, their intelligence, or their abilities, not even immediately change their skin color; that came later through genetic mutation. All He did was mix up their languages.
Throughout the Bible, both in the old and new testaments, God made it clear that, though there were many tribes, tongues, nations, people groups, that does not matter to Him, or ultimately to us in the end. To Him, the only difference is if we are followers of Christ or not. In the end there will be no black or white or Asian or Latino or any other race or ethnicity, or language; only those who have believed in Him, and those who haven’t. So let’s worry less about what people look like, or where their ancestors came from; if God doesn’t even do that, what right have we to do so?
So, instead, let’s focus more on looking around us and all the opportunities to show Christ’s love to ALL people, no matter what. We have the blessing of being surrounded by so many different types of people in this country, and if we look around our circle of life and only see friends, or acquaintances who are a certain color, or age group, or religion, then we need to take a hard look at our lives. Are you willing to go out and play some ball with those black kids on the corner, or do you watch them wearily out the window expecting trouble? Do you say hi to that Muslim girl you see at the grocery story every week, or do you sheepishly look away? Are you willing to chat with the bag boy at Publix who has Downs Syndrome, or do you brush him off and walk away? Do you thank that Police officer at the next gas pump for their service, no matter their age, race or gender, or do you ignore them and go on your way?
We ALL need to take a close look at how we look at those around us. We are told that everyone is our neighbor. And further, that we are to love our neighbors, and lastly we have laid out for us exactly what that love entails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13 (ESV) “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…. ….So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”