Things We Are Leaving Undone

“….we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.”

That’s a line from the Prayer of Confession we at Hazlehurst First United Methodist Church recite each Sunday morning. I think of that line often during the week, especially the part “by what we have left undone.”

It comes to mind when I hear people speak racially insensitive words. Stereotyping individuals because of their ethnicity, their country of origin, their religion….

Too many times, rather than speaking up to defend human beings unfairly targeted because of the way they look — or worship — I’ve left that obligation undone. I’ve kept silent. Cowardly silent.

Once when I did try to defend the presence of Hispanic immigrants in our community, I was met with scorn and ridicule. In too many circles, immigrants are viewed as intruders who are nothing more than freeloaders out to take our jobs and replace us, replace our culture with theirs, replace our allegiance with theirs, replace our beliefs with theirs.

The hatred that has erupted in this nation over the past few years will continue if society continues to leave doing the right thing undone.

Last week’s slaughter in El Paso was fueled by hate, the flames of which have been fanned by President Trump ever since he rode down that escalator to announce his presidency.

Republicans’ not objecting to repeated racist statements by President Trump is leaving a necessary deed undone.

More than 50 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his dream is on the verge of being vanquished. Back then, that dream was aimed at bringing African-American people into the mainstream of life.

But at its heart, the dream was aimed at bringing all people, of all races, of all religions, into the mainstream of life.

There are too many among us who don’t want that.

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