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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
A LETTER FOR YOU (and snitches too!)
I hope your day is filled with heart smiles. If there is anything that irritates you, I pray that it turns into a pearl of wisdom. If your life is hard, I pray that your experience becomes a diamond in the making. If your life is a struggle, I pray that you experience a release and fly freely.
I read a story this morning that seemed to reflect the last 2 weeks of my life, well actually it reflected the last 12 years of my life. Maybe the story will resonate with you as well. It's called: "The Field of Blood." As I read the story, visions of deceased young boys and men came to my mind. The words: "Murder, Tears and Bloody Cement" from the title of a CD could be used to describe the sidewalks of Buffalo. There were 3 young people who made music together, Roxy, Rollo and Christian made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of young people in schools all over Buffalo. That was until Chris was killed. He was murdered when he was 14 years old while riding his bike.
The story I read this morning was about a guy who was jealous and bitter. He envied his friend and mentor to the point that he was willing to betray him for money. This was true "snitching." The guy sold information as an act of betraying a friend. The problem was, the act resulted in the loss of life, both for the snitcher and the one he snitched about.
In the streets and neighborhoods of Buffalo, snitching is looked upon as a betrayal, even to the point that it doesn't matter if someone is breaking the law. That's the problem, truth becomes jaded and used as a tool of destruction. Lawbreakers protect lawbreakers and if you tell the truth to stop the lawbreakers, then you are labelled as a snitch. That's just wrong and innocent people die.
The dude in the story was the snitcher. He was given a "reward" by insecure people who wanted to remove the man who was telling the truth. People don't like change and truth causes you to change. These people were in charge and they wanted to remove the "Truth-teller." The "betrayer/snitcher" accepted money from the "treacherous/truth-destroyers." Maybe a better name would be the "snitchees." Their bitterness caused hearts to harden. They acted spitefully. The snitcher betrayed his friend to the snitchees. When the snitcher found out that his act was causing the death of his friend, he began to feel guilty.
Guilt can cause the deepest despair that you have ever known. When the snitcher found out that his friend was going to die, the money he received became like "blood money" in his hands. He tried to give it back but it was too late. The betrayal had already taken place and the truth-destroyers had no desire to take their blood money back. The snitcher threw the money at them and left. He eventually went and hung himself in a final, deplorable end to his bitterness.
The snitchees had to decide what to do with the blood money. There false sense of honor would not allow them to put it into the regular treasury - you can't commingle blood money with religious funds, that would be sacrilegious. They decided to buy a plot of land to be used as a cemetery. The only people that they would bury in that cemetery would be folks who didn't belong to their religion or foreigners as they would call them.
Up until this point, the story is similar to the streets of Buffalo. There is betrayal, hard hearts, segregation, violence and murder for money. The story had a different ending though. The guy who was betrayed had 11 other really good friends, well, sometimes they were good friends and sometimes they denied they even knew him. In Buffalo, if you were murdered and you had 11 or more close friends, some of them would be planning to get revenge for your death. They would be plotting to fill another plot in the cemetery called the "Field of Blood."
The guy who died in the story, died a very gruesome death at the hands of folks who tortured him. He did something unique though. Just before he died, he asked his dad to forgive the folks who were torturing him. He reasoned that they didn't really know what they were doing - they didn't see the big picture. The guy died and afterward his buddies did not seek revenge. They tried to teach and emulate the actions that their dead friend had taught them. They kept their friend alive by repeating the actions of his heart. You could say that their friend came back to life and lived through them.
I learned about bitterness, contagiousness, betrayal and forgiveness from this story. I'm going to ask you to do a favor for me. Could you please focus on forgiveness today? I know what it's like to hurt because someone died. I know what it's like to feel angry because someone murdered someone I love. For the last 12 years I have seen many young boys and men bloodied and bodied. It's almost as if Buffalo has become a "Field of Blood." It's time for truth to take hold of the people in Buffalo.
If you seek revenge for someone who has died, your thoughts alone will cause the death of something inside you. Death by killing is a contagious disease that spreads with each murder. The loss of life extends to those who love you. A father who murders will eventually end up in jail - separated from his children. That's like the death of a relationship. Do you honestly think your children would be proud to write an essay on "My Dad the Killer." The infestation of killer's disease will seep slowly into your children and they will eventually succumb to it's insidious spread in their soul. They probably will end up as a killer like their dad. Won't you be so proud then. I am as mad as you are at the loss of another young man who I loved as a son. There is a better way to deal with anger, a way that would be good to pass on to your children.
I'm going to keep the guys who have died in my heart - ALIVE! I will do it by remembering them through acts of love and serving others. If I remember somebody by committing a murder than my love was not really love - it was infatuation with a flawed idea of loyalty. If I really loved, then I will show love by repeating and duplicating love. I will love with everything in me - my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole strength and my whole mind. I will try hard to forgive. Is this easy? No but it can be done, it has been done by others and you can do it to. Think about others who will speak at your funeral. Will they struggle to find nice things to say about a killer? OR, maybe they will say he or she was a fighter who lifted the weights of murder off their shoulders and grew strong through trying to forgive. What do you want people to say at your funeral. Go and be the words that you want them to say.
You may not be a praying person but I'm going to ask you to help anyway. If you don't pray, just try and think of forgiving thoughts and focus on how you can show love in tough situations. If you are a praying person, I'm going to ask you to fast and pray for and end to the segregation and violence in Buffalo.
Thanks for your time.
Go do something nice for somebody.