What can I say about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.? How he championed nonviolence? How his struggles for the black people and others spurs my own civil rights struggle? (Yes, as an autistic, and a woman, I struggle for love, acceptance and civil rights.) Yes, I can say a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And his legacy, but I feel that others can do it much better than I can. So I will let them.
You have to scream the title like a horror movie final girl to get the full effect.*
How many times have you dealt with somebody who was a little different from you? Many times, I am sure. Trouble is, many of us have not dealt with different in our lives as much as others. And the sad thing is, dealing with different may just be the key to overcoming different. And yet, with the trend toward dividing up and shrinking back into racial and religious divides, fear and hate helps different keep us apart.
Now, I know that the rich, white and powerful have most of the prejudice and hate on lockdown. That is a fact. That is how they stay in power. What I am saying is, there are people on all sides, not just black and white, need to overcome the prejudice inside their own heads in order to function.
I’m not even talking about Black Lives Matter or antifascists at this point. I do not believe they are a terrorist group. It’s a shame that it only takes a color of skin to designate one group terrorist and another group not. It is a shame that I even have to waste space on this declaration.
What I am talking about is the person who shuts their ears to another person, simply because there is a different trait. I am talking about the white person who closes his ears to the understanding person of color, as well as the person of color closing his ears to the understanding white person. I am talking about the person who says “You are just a ______” and name that difference. With a closed mind and a cold heart, they become part of the problem of hate that is about to destroy the United States of America.
How does this manifest in my own life? I am glad you asked. This manifests in my life with a chilling precision; I fear these words will not get to the people who need to hear them, because I am autistic, and white, and cisgender, and female, and fat. I have just listed six reasons people shut out my words. I am sure there are many more.
I am hearing, from the dark corners of the internet, about certain so-called Christians who are not mourning the victims of the Orlando shooting.
A quick recap: Gay nightclub shot up. 50 people dead, possibly more to come. 53 people injured. The gunman among the dead. Police waited 3 hours to storm the place.
Why are these people not mourning the victims of the Orlando shooting? Simple: they were most likely homosexuals. Yes, I agree homosexuality is a sin. I am a Bible-believing Christian. Romans 1 and 2 contains several verses you may have to cut out. Sin also separates you from God.
That being said, the victims of the Orlando shooting, even those most likely gay, are no more sinful by God’s standards than anyone else. What people forget, in their crusading against other people’s sin, is that they are just as sinful. It even feels like they are using other people’s sins to mask their own – the classic “I’m not as bad as that guy!” Scenario. The trouble is, the people pointing the finger are just as sinful, as I have said before. The standard of holiness, according to God? Absolute, sinless perfection. Ever heard the saying “Nobody’s Perfect” from anyone, anyone at all? That is the trouble. Remember, people who point the finger usually have three fingers pointing back at them. It is also similar to when Christ told of the “speck” of one sin in another’s eye, you have to make sure there is a “log” of any other sin in your own eye. That illustrates another truth: that people who are pointing out one sin are often struggling with it in one form or another.
So, let me say, according to the word of God, that the best thing to do in the case of the Orlando shooting victims is, to mourn the dead. Were they targeted for their lifestyle, their differences? Yes. Were they murdered? Yes. Is their time of mercy and grace over? Yes. Do they have a chance to go back and change their minds? Of course not-they’re dead. They have no more chances. Their lives and chances were taken from them. If you were in the nightclub and got shot, you would have had a near 50/50 chance of dying from your wounds. If they deserve to die and go to hell, so do you. But Christ, in His infinite mercy and grace, paid your price. That is all I have to say about that.
It is going to be a surprise who comes into heaven. People you thought would be there are not, and people who you thought would never be there will. Sure, sin keeps you from God, but Jesus Christ received the penalty for all, so that all may come to Him. The dead of Pulse nightclub, they never had a chance. Their chances were taken away from them. Mourn for that.
In case you have not noticed, I am a Christian, which means I believe that the biggest event in history was a Roman execution of a carpenter and apparent political upstart. It’s kind of weird that we wear the instrument of execution on our bodies and in our homes. It’s even weirder that we consider the carpenter and upstart the greatest man in history. And the weirdest of all, the fact is, some of the symbols of this event have nothing to do with the event in particular. I mean, what do Crucifixion and Resurrection have to do with candy bunnies and colored eggs?
Let me get to the most important part-the gist of the Gospel of Easter: Everybody sins, and the judgment of sin is death. Everybody dies, too. But the trouble is, death sends people to the realm of Hell. We needed a savior to save us from that fate. Trouble is, everybody sins, so there is no one who can. An innocent had to put on the sins of others to provide a way out, so… God sent his son to die the most brutal death in history, and rise again from the grave, to provide a way to be with God. That’s it. So, why do bunnies, flowers, eggs and bugs figure into the celebration?
Growing up, I originally thought the bunny and the egg were a little silly. I mean, as a Christian, how does any of that fit into the story of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection? There were no mentions of rabbits or eggs in the Bible anywhere. Nobody told me anything as to why until I was in my teens. Then, the prevailing church came to the Easter symbols’ attack. They were originally used as fertility symbols of non-Christian gods. However, these symbols were “Christianized,” or incorporated, into the celebration, given new meanings and new places inside Christianity.
The Holiday Spot gives a concise meaning into the various symbols associated with Easter. I am perfectly alright with these traditional symbols, given their new meanings of new life. There are even symbols I did not know were incorporated into the celebration, such as the butterfly. The butterfly represents the spiritual metamorphosis the Christian soul and spirit undergo. It is my favorite symbol of Easter and spring. From death into life, the way of God goes.
“34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.. ” -1 Corinthians 7:34 (KJV)
As a single woman of God, I am called to celibacy. Celibacy is simply the lifestyle of abstaining from sexual relations until I am married. It is an easy and happy lifestyle for me. But it did not start out that way…I had to ask God to remove and control my lusts for it to happen. There was also a time I would lament the fact that I did not have a husband. It turns out, having a husband is not a possibility, nor is it a real convenience for me right now. The trouble with celibacy is simply this: there is a lot of fear in our society of single and celibate women, especially since there are not a lot of them. I’m not going to pump out statistics on it, but you can look them up. I’m just happy being single and celibate, leaving dating and courtship behind for a while in order to fully pursue God.
The journey I am currently on began when my mother gave me a direct message from the Lord: that it was best that I not get married at the time, and I am certain because God gives her words to tell people all the time…and they are in line with God’s Word. This ended a period of time when I would lament not having a man to go home to, or take care of me. I thought I needed a man to complete me, because that is what most people say about women…unless, of course, you bring up your disability. Then you are apparently a being without a sexuality, which is just impossible. I had over time asked God to remove lusts I was having because of my lamenting over my singlehood. I look back now and believe this was the biggest cause of my agony.
There is a lot of fear concerning the celibate and single woman, especially when sexual experience is generally encouraged and prized in our society and media, especially from married women. I have noticed that I am not as encouraged to hold babies, nor generally be around them. Do people actually think I hate children? I love children. I love them so much that I do not want them to suffer in life with the autism I could pass on to them as their mother. That is why I do not have children, and that is the thing people do not understand about celibacy. There is usually a very good reason behind a person’s choice in life. The most enlightening question is usually “Why?” Do not fear the celibate woman, my married sister; she is not here to steal your husband.
My celibacy is also a gift from the Lord, to pursue Him with the passion he is pursuing me with. I want to follow Him with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. I want to leave the world behind, and be involved with the things of God. That is my situation; if the Lord decides to bring me a man and change it, so be it; I am not going to try and change what the Lord has laid out.
A few weeks ago, we saw the movie War Room. Simply put, it’s not actually about soldiers, unless you count soldiers of the cross. It outlined the different tenets of a hot prayer life for God-and who the real enemy is. My mother and I were inspired to create a sort of prayer wall to list our prayer requests on. My mother and I don’t hide any secrets from each other, so this prayer wall is in the living room – strangely, in the innermost wall of our living vicinity. Every day now, we take the prayers lists off the wall and pray for those requests on the
Now, I’m not talking about this for pats on the back. Nobody really receives deserved praise for doing their everyday tasks. We are not perfect in our prayer lives – only recently did we somehow learn that praise and thanksgiving comes with the prayer territory – not just requests. We are still working on these things. We have learned who to pray for, and who the real enemy is. (HINT: It’s not the people you’re praying for. And if you’re praying against somebody, you’re doing it wrong.) Well, let’s just say our prayer lists are growing week by week. There is so much to pray about, and it takes so much time, even for a short-worded woman like me. It’s a privilege to carry all the cares of this world to the Lord of the Universe, a privilege apparently not shared by many, but it can be. I am certain that He hears all of our requests and is working on it even beforehand.
We are praying, believing the Lord can do all He says He can. It feels good to know you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” -Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Anybody remember what the Maginot Line was? It was a series of fortresses that France built after World War I in order to defend themselves against Germany. It was only on the border with Germany. However, when World War II broke out, the Germans invaded France through Belgium and the Netherlands, conquered France and defeated the Maginot Line from inside France itself! Why this history lesson? Because the Christian is at war. Whether they like it or not, we are soldiers in an epic battle with a powerful, cunning enemy, who has invaded our very bodies and minds, and has an ally within ourselves! Who is this enemy and his ally? The enemy is one we all know about. The enemy is Satan. The ally is our own sinful nature.
Here is how most spiritual battles play out: Most people, including Christians, think it is someone who is sinning differently than them, point their fingers at that person, and say: “THIS GUY is the enemy!” They mount bulwarks and laws against that person, paying no attention to the fact that they have a sinful nature too, and they are defeated, not by that “enemy,” but by that ally within themselves, who is operating under the distraction the different sinner provides. Trouble is, that is not fighting the enemy; that is distracting from the enemy. The enemy is Satan, who seeks to steal, kill and destroy; it is not the different sinner. Satan and the sinful nature within ourselves brings us down, but only if we let them. We have a true ally who can come live within us to fight our battles for us.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” –Matthew 7: 3-5 NIV
Now that we got who the enemy and their ally is, how do we fight them? There are several ways. One is through study and obedience to the Word of God, the Bible. That will strengthen you against Satan and sin, so you can fight properly. How can a soldier fight without proper instruction and training in their weapons? So it is with you. The Bible, prayer and belief are your weapons; use them. In prayer and belief, refer all complaints and temptations to the Lord. The Lord will fight your battles for you. It is His job to do the heavy lifting and repairs to your life and the person(s) your pray for. Simply ask, and keep asking, and the Lord will give you the answer.
So, where does this leave the “different sinner” in the Lord’s eyes? The “different sinner” is still a sinner. They are hostages to Satan and the sinful nature, just like you. Your task is to minister to them; that is, to tell the sinner that there is a way out of the pit, and it is through accepting Christ as your Savior. So, go and tell the sinner the way out of sin!
Know your enemy, know your ally, and you can be on the winning side.