Thoughts on:  If They Gunned Me Down

The moral worth of the society is not measured by the life in a palace but by the life in the streets.  To know the all powerful God, one must know the powerless.

For those without Twitter, the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown is spreading around the world.   Users are posting divergent images of themselves and asking which image the media would use in the event that they were killed.  The media always uses the worst picture they can find of someone to make them out to be a bad person not a picture of all the good they may have done in their life.

So, I ask these questions;
Is someone defined by the worse thing they’ve ever done?
Does a good person change because we know more about them?
Does everyone deserve a second chance?
Can you climb a smooth mountain?
Are our struggles the foundation of our identity?
Does oppression breed the power to oppose it?
There are always people who wish to deny us our humanity but if we tell our stories, will there be someone who wishes to restore it?
Is it fair to abandon someone who has spent a life doing good but they make one mistake?

Van Gogh was a patient in a mental hospital.  Temporal Lobe Epilepsy allowed St. Paul to hear the voice of God.  Hemmingway, Sylvia Plath, Billie Holiday, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, Dylan Marlais Thomas, just a few of the great minds who suffered from madness.  Should they have been medicated into mediocrity?”
A woman was raped as a teen and became pregnant because of it.  It changed her career path and affected every relationship she ever had since.  At the age of fifty, someone asked her if she hates her rapist.  She said she did once but now she pities him for, she now has a beautiful daughter and two beautiful grandchildren and he doesn’t know them.

All the images in this video show people who may not have made good choices in their youth, but, look at the choices they made as they matured.  Desmond Tutu once said that we may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.  In a world gone mad with mistrust and alienation, the church (like never before) must present faith as a dynamic and relevant force for change.

Isaiah 58:9 if you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk and if you spend yourself in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed then your light will arise in the darkness and your night will become like the noon day.

In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, each recalling the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is welcomed back into the tribe.


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