Sunday, November 20, 2016


I guess I've just been thinking about this whole safety pin issue.  Would Jesus wear one?  Oh, wait a minute, He doesn't need one because He already said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)

I was telling a friend that I don't think any safety pin wearing individuals in the Portland protest/riots helped anybody, do you?  After policemen were injured, cop cars burned, and a million dollars of damage done to beautiful downtown Portland, do you think anyone was saying, "Come stand by me and I will protect you with my safety pin?"

I was thinking of the time, as I've told you about before, when I got into the middle of a gang fight.  It was probably one of the stupidest things I've ever done.  But, I'd probably do it again.  We had taken our group of teens to a not-such-a-nice school location in Sacramento area for a high school boys district basketball tournament.  The winner would advance to a regional play-off at Point Loma College in San Diego, serious stuff.  Hundreds were there. 

Getting a little hungry between our boys' games, my husband and I were off to get a little cheap fast food lunch.  But before we could pull out of the parking lot, I yelled, "STOP!"  There was a group of about thirty Samoans who had come to the tournament gathered in the commons area, but it was going south quickly when a skinhead came in off the street and started a fight. (The only thing more stupid than what I did.)  They were smashing his tricked out bike and had beaten him up, and had him down on the ground in a fetal position while several were kicking him for all they were worth.  Have I mentioned how big those Samoans were?  More skinheads were pulling in off the street to rumble.  All I could think of was the gym which was about to be emptied of all the teens who would be pouring out into this fight.  I jumped out of the car leaving the car door open, one shoe falling off, not even thinking about whether my husband would be safe or not, whether I would be safe or not, whether weapons could be used, and got up in the giant Samoan assailants faces--Well, I did as much as I could to reach up into their six foot and a hundred more pounds than me faces yelling, "STOP!  You are disrespecting your leaders, your pastor!"  In slow motion, I remember the smoldering hooded eyes looking at me like, "Is she some kind of crazy?"  The answer was yes!  Fortunately, the school police worked on weekends too--who knew?--and started pulling in to stop the fight.

Sometimes things get sticky.

While this was going on, Moa, the Samo-an, thought it a convenient time to rob me of my purse left unprotected in our open car while I was busy trying to stop a gang fight, wimpy as I was.  It had about fifty dollars of the team's money, fifty which might as well have been five thousand  with our ability to replace it.  One girl told me that he had thrown my purse up on top of the high school building's roof.  Someone nicely climbed up and retrieved it for me with all my important cards and license still there, just minus the cash. 

But,  yes, it was stupid of me. I could have gotten my husband killed, for all I knew.  Yes, I'm all kinds of crazy stupid.  I didn't jump into the fray because I supported the skinhead's viewpoint.  Absolutely not.  I did it because he was a human being, being severely beaten.  I didn't do it because I hated Samoans.  They are a beautiful people, and we were happy that they had come to the tournament--even if one of their women played on their men's team against us and even though some of their players were long past their teen years with their elementary school aged children yelling for them on the sidelines, "Go, daddy!"  Even if they didn't understand flagrant fouls in a serious play-off game. 

Silly me, I felt like a mama bear and these were all my children I was responsible for who were having a serious kerfuffle.  I could have worn a safety pin and said, "If you don't feel safe, come over and stand by me."  What would Jesus do?  What would you have done?

Make room at the table for everyone.
I guess, that's what I think about safety pins.  There are laws that protect those bullied and abused among us regardless of their persuasions, safety pins not necessary.  I thank God that the police arrived and took over the situation before any more were injured.  We are a people under a rule of law.  Our brave police and sheriffs risk their lives to protect us.  If there is a problem, report it. (This was back in the days before cell phones.)

Come ye thankful people come...

We have had to do so several times recently in our neighborhood as my son and his friends have been bullied, threatened, and jumped with sheriff's reports filed each time.  Supposedly, even our  family has received death threats.  Hmm.  I don't think a safety pin will make me or my family any safer, a gun perhaps, but not a safety pin.  I don't think any of you conscientious dear friends wearing a safety pin will make us safer.  I'll stick with my guard dog and the sheriffs for now, thank you. 
We gather together...

Anyway, this is what I think about in the night. 
Then we have this beautiful Psalm...

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron's beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded
the blessing--life forever."

Didn't the first Thanksgiving
invite diversity?

If there is one thing that the DNA testing made available now is the realization that we all have family spread over many nations.  Brothers.  Sisters.  As Adam Clarke wrote in the 1700's, years even when America was fighting to free themselves of their mother country, even in the years England fought to free themselves from slavery years before Americans took up the cause, even when the Church of England was causing turmoil and oppression of contrary views, "Unity is, according to this scripture, a good thing and a pleasant; and especially among brethren,--members of the same family,--of the same Christian community, and of the same nation.  And why not among the great family of mankind?  On the other hand, disunion is  bad and hateful.  The former is from heaven, the latter from hell...Brethren, either in a church, family, or kingdom, should be of one soul, and intent on the common good."  Matthew Henry says, "Those that dwell in love not only dwell in God, but do already dwell in heaven."

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