What do you see when a young man takes a knee during the National Anthem? Disrespect? Entitlement? Do you see red?
I think this topic has become more divisive than it should be. For me personally, taking a knee during the National Anthem wouldn't even occur to me as an option, for spreading awareness for my cause or belief, whatever that may be. I have two grandfathers who were war vets; one who earned a bronze star for a heroic act he never even remembered, and lived with shrapnel in his back until the day he died. I will always choose to stand and honor their service to this country. However, as I talked about last week, that is because I am me. I cannot know the inner workings of every other person in this world. I cannot ever know what it is like to be a black man in this county but I can try to bridge the divide. I can try to understand.
I believe that forcing someone to stand for the flag, or punishing those who won't, is in direct conflict with the freedoms my grandfathers fought for. I don't believe a person should be condemned for protesting in exactly the peaceful way protests should be done. He's not hurting anyone. He's not burning the flag or destroying it in anyway. He's not looting or rioting. He is peacefully taking a knee to effect change in an area he believes our country could improve upon. I don't have to agree with his methods to try to understand the heart behind it.
See, when I prayed about this message, God showed me this title immediately. I thought, what if he were my son? What if that young man, taking a knee before his NFL games were my son?
Would I hate him?
I can answer all of those with a resounding no.
I would hug him and defend him when all the world is against him. Even if I didn't agree with the way in which he protested, I would appreciate his act of peace in an otherwise violent world. I would acknowledge the strength and bravery it took to stand up against a majority for the rights of the minority. It may not have been how I would have proceeded, but should I condemn a man for protesting in exactly the peaceful way in which protests should be done?
This blog is not the place for politics, and I didn't set out for it to be. However, it is a place for grace. It is a place for love. It is a place for encouragement. Maybe sometimes it has to be a place to for difficult topics, to bring forth growth.
Not all of us have the luxury of personally knowing celebrities in the limelight. Maybe that makes us feel a little too comfortable judging them. But right now, I would encourage everyone to extend some grace, and try to understand the decisions of a stranger, as you would someone you know and love. You don't have to agree with someone's ways to try to understand the heart behind them.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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