Dear America,if you know me, then you know it's been a quiet week of utter, simple -- and yet, for me, painfully disengaged -- absence.
...so on that note, allow me to interrupt the celebration out there and say something.
Just expecting the day to evolve, as they always do, out of one thing or another and turn into something...and just maybe, it will all be worthy of your time.
There is a Robert Frost poem that cites, "good fences make good neighbors." In this light, the fence serves as a guard, keeping the riff-raff out and keeping the children safe; it serves as a barrier offering both sides of it equal protection under the law of this is yours and this is mine, respectfully. It becomes the hard line between privacy and security from invasion and danger. And just to be clear, both property and body have it. It's like the difference between assault and assault and battery.
This week, the priest from the Heart of the Nation quoted this line of Frost's as he spoke of a passage from the Book of Luke -- specifically, The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
The passage reflects upon a question, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
And Jesus, basically responds to the question with a question, what does the law tell you?
To which the Good Book records the lesson: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
And Jesus says, "you have answered correctly...do this and you will live."
Leaving an opportunity for further probing and testing, Jesus was then asked, "And who is my neighbor?" To which Jesus replied with a story:
“A man wwas going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a xpriest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise xa Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a ySamaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and zbound up his wounds, pouring on zoil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two adenarii1 and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
At the end of reminding us of the way of The Good Samaritan, the priest rose his head and surmised to all within the sound of his voice, 'it's not the fence that makes us good neighbors...it's what is in our hearts...how we show mercy to one another.'
So go, and do likewise.
Treat thy neighbor as thyself.
Breaking News Update:
Passing upon the infinite similarities of the night watchman and the good Samaritan, let's return to what we know about that fateful night. Trayvon Martin was out and about 'jumping fences' on a dark, drizzly night in Sanford, FL with Skittles in his pocket. See more about that, here.
For a somewhat fair account following court testimony, allow me to direct you to a post from ABC's Dan Abrams to read, go here (July 1, 2013)
[It's awfully frustrating for the media to cover this story, considering the side leaning politically and culturally correct aligns with the golden child. If perception is king, pulling for fundamental prosecution was, without a doubt, the only answer. oh snap. What will be a riot will be listening to the resolve and rationalization of a travesty for the ages, and undoubtedly leading up to the cry, fully supported by this media, for a second go-round in civil court. ugh.]
George Zimmerman got his head bashed into the pavement with pictures and open wounds to prove it. The seventeen year old young man, Trayvon -- whom the President at one time promoted the assumption "if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon" [hmmm, but would he act like him, too? I think not...I would hope not] -- was on top and beating the crap out of him.
And while we introduce the president -- because he, on his own, interfered with the process and mingled into the conversation right from the get-go -- let's take a moment for ethnicity clarification and it's ill-effects upon the law, and the outcome thereof [race protests]. The media, along with the supporters of Trayvon, made race of issue; and more than that, insisted on making the case white man vs. black boy.
And thank you, Department of Justice, for picking a side of the fence, as well. See here, for more about the Community Relations Service provided by the American taxpayer. It's a fine line between offering mediation services and manipulating public opinion and painting a picture of innocence up against an overzealous, racist, night watchman on the loose, isn't it. It's not only fine, it's a wee bit grey in the light of this day.
But let's get one thing straight: Calling Zimmerman white is like calling Obama white. They are each half of one thing and half another. In Zimmerman's case, it's Peruvian. But in the case of the United States of America, it serves the greater good better to refer to all of us as one thing, and one thing only -- American. To serve the law synonymous with treating our neighbors as ourselves, race must be set aside; to live in community with one another, race must be set aside; while even Martin Luther King called upon us to look upon our neighbor from a wider angle -- the content of our character, not the color of our skin.
Remember, too, it was the 911 operator who asked, who probed, who wanted the details as to the ethnicity of Trayvon Martin; and it was the mainstream media who edited the tape to insinuate Zimmerman's actions were all about race.
Oh, teacher, when will we ever learn?
So go, and do likewise.
Perhaps this will sound as an oversimplification of what just happened... but in the end, it was Zimmerman -- not Trayvon -- begging for mercy from his neighbor. And it doesn't get any more complicated than that. Trayvon could have stopped slamming the "creepy ass cracker's" head into the concrete at any time; while even his own prosecution team could not save Trayvon's family from a second blow to the heart. The evidence was clearly not there; and what was there, was in doubt.
Even though, it must be said, the "Not Guilty" still amounts to the rest of Zimmerman's life sans freedom; life will never be the same; whatever life he can make for himself will be considered stolen from just a boy about to have Skittles and Watermelon Arizona Tea running through his veins.
The thing is, it's a tragedy no matter which way we look at it. It just makes me cry for all of us.
Someone once told me, "it's not the fence that makes us good neighbors;" it's about what is in our hearts, our minds, our soul... of a nation. Our roots teach us everything we need to know -- whether it be about ourselves, our neighbor, our planet, or our faith in God and humanity.
Oh, Mercy, mercy, me...
We see evidence of it all the time -- in the every day, actually.
And one of these days, I hope we can all have an honest, open, loving conversation about everything under heaven. Until then, let this be a lesson for all of us.
Make it a Good Day, G