Vengeance and the Jaded Heart

I’ve been concerned lately about the battle heating up between mostly young African American men and police officers. I’ve seen several videos posted online of police brutality. Videos of young African American men walking around and somehow getting into an altercation with the police and within moments the young man is dead. It hurts me to see it. What were those police officers thinking? Why such brute force when it seemed from footage leading up to the altercation the man seemed out of touch or “lost” in some way? This is so grievous.

On the other hand, my son is a police officer and I’ve seen him post pictures of young police officers who took a bullet and never got to go home again to their families. Police officers who daily and voluntarily walk into the line of fire to help the community and maintain peace. This also is grievous.

I hear the rhetoric from each side, swear words and foul language that they use to relieve the pressure on the inside of them caused by these grievous situations. These words they use to label each other are vengeance.

There’s a storehouse in each of us. A storehouse of unforgiveness and offense. When that storehouse get’s full, Watch Out! It's got to come out. It's full of frustration, anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment, etc.

We’ve got to judge what’s right and wrong as best we can. It’s a built in human mechanism. When we see injustice we have to categorize that event in our memories as injustice.

But when we move to vengeance we’re in trouble. All the weight of justice does not rest on your shoulders. If you are a young African American man on the street who’s seen injustice from the police officers, you have a responsibility to work toward justice but you cannot carry the weight of vengeance.

If you are a police officer who has lost a comrade to the actions of an African American man on the streets, you may have the weight of justice vested in you as you wear that badge but you don’t have to carry the weight of vengeance.

Both sides please keep your hearts clean. Please, work for justice but take up no vengeance. I see that when that storehouse of offense fills up it could be the weight that tips the delicate balance on the trigger finger on either side. That my friend would just bring more injustice.

A jaded heart is just an offended heart that becomes increasingly inaccurate in its judgments with each additional offense.

For me the best remedy is in the old adage, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay. says the Lord.”

We can work for justice, but let’s leave the vengeance in His hands.