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“I Got You”

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Yesterday, tragically, this 32 year old Baton Rouge police officer, Montrell Jackson, was killed.  Just days before, he made a post on Facebook we can and should all take to heart.  These are officer Jackson’s words on Facebook on July 8th:

“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me,” he wrote. “In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. I’ve experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core. When people you know begin to question your integrity you realize they don’t really know you at all. Look at my actions they speak LOUD and CLEAR. Finally I personally want to send prayers out to everyone directly affected by this tragedy. These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better. I’m working in these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family, or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer. I got you.”

No matter where you stand politically, all caring Americans can surely agree that this senseless violence we have been seeing has to stop!  We have to start listening to each other with a desire to understand the other, whom we may not agree with, or with whom we may not see eye to eye on issues. We can, and need to have open and kinder hearts towards each other.  And as Montreal Jackson, this young father, so wisely put it “Please don’t let hate infect your heart.”

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Reach out to people different than you are….those who think differently than you do, look different than you and whose life experiences are different than yours.  No one of us can change the whole country, but we can each of us change our community by choosing to deliberately be more open to others in our neighborhoods and being more loving in large and small ways.  Say something nice to a total stranger.  Speak words of kindness and encouragement, especially to those in uniform whose job it is to protect us.

Like the Sheriff of Baton Rouge said today in response to the police shootings, we have to realize this isn’t an issue of legislation, “this is about what’s in men’s heart.”  Let’s each one resolve to do better than we have been at caring for others, be better at having hearts of compassion and love.  Let’s each of us take the attitude of Officer Jackson, “…if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer.  I got you.”
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