I can’t say I am an expert on what all came about with the recent Zimmerman trial and the verdict not too many are happy about, but I wanted to share a few thoughts I have about it all. What I want to reflect on has more to do with maybe why this particular case got blown to the level it did and why so many are hurt and angry and feeling the verdict was a great injustice.
I need to say too, it is complex and many factors are involved. I just want to touch on one area.
What I see is a lot of pain and hurt and anger, even rage (wrath or uncontrolled anger). The riots show they are responding to their hurt by means of violent behavior). But really these are just superficial issues, meaning the are just the tip of the iceberg as to how deep the pain is and how long standing it is.
If we use a tree as an image = there is the “fruit” (what we see above ground) and there is the “root” (what is under the surface and what feeds and nourishes the “fruit.” Things like anger, rage, violent behavior, controlling behavior, deception, shame and rage, etc, are all “fruit.” These fruit are being fed and nourished by the roots which are the deep level offenses of the heart that happened fairly early on in a person’s life (both unintentional and intentional) unintentional might be things like early death of a parent, divorce, maybe a parent being gone on long trips in the early years, deployment, and the like, things that were done though not for the purpose of hurting someone. Intentional would be things like abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), verbal berating, rejection, detachment, and the like).
If the root is infected, the fruit will be bad. If the soul in infected from a wound given to it by intended or unintended offenses, like a wounded animal it will lash out at anything and everything that touches the wound (or even comes close).
I think the soul of America is infected. And the soul of many Americans is infected too, and what we see is many lashing out in pain at the touching of the wound in their hearts. The wound is deep and has been festering for a long time.
So what caused the wound? What was the offense? Well, I am not sure I can truly pinpoint the exact causes but let me say that much of American history has events and situations that involved abuse (verbal, emotional, physical), sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, verbal berating, detachment, and rejection (not to mention these things happening in one form or another in nearly every family). These are all the “roots” that left untended and infected lead to the destruction of the soul by means of anger, rage, shame, controlling behaviors, manipulation.
The problem is, many of us don’t realize what is going on, we just think it is the age old problem of racism when I think it goes deeper than that…
Some have said what is needed is much forgiveness, well part of the problem is that all too often the infection of the soul can blind the person with it so they can’t see the cause of their anger and rage or controlling behaviors, – and so go on responding to the pain of past hurts like rejection or abuse in sinful ways, even passing it down to their kids (though not exactly the way their parents did) – until we can see the root issues of what causes our pain we cannot acknowledge it – and we’ll have a lot of trouble forgiving – and we ourselves need forgiveness from God for our sinful responses to our hurt and pain. And please know, this has nothing to do with becoming Christian – coming under the blood of Jesus doesn’t necessarily eliminate patters of behavior – you may have a time of being good after “getting saved” but unless you confront the hurt you’ll fall back in to old patterns.
Until we the offended, who have been hurt, repent of our offenses towards God by means of our sinful responses to the hurts, especially unforgiveness and bitterness, and uncontrolled anger, we will not be able to forgive our offenders and begin to heal and move forward both as individuals and as a nation.
For many the Zimmerman verdict touched on their own woundedness and pain of past injustices and offenses where crimes were committed against them and the offender got off and that is painful. The wound left untended goes unhealed and leads to the kinds of these we have been seeing like the tremendously emotional responses to the death of Treyvon Martin and the trial of George Zimmerman.
Well, again I am not an expert, these are just thoughts I have after being at a Restoring relationships encounter weekend last week.
and I could be wrong.