March 17, 2023
From the outside of any social movement, people will assign many nicknames to identify them. Those names may be simply accurate. They also may be anywhere from complimentary to derogatory. They may intentionally mischaracterize the group. Then, after naming the group by whatever intent they may have, they either choose one or two people to exalt the group, or they may single out others to ridicule the group so that whatever their message is, it will be dismissed out of hand. In order to avoid derision, some outsiders, although they might have been interested, will avoid association with the group. Worse, by the power of peer pressure they will instead join in belittling the group, and finding single targets alone and away from the group, they will join in targeting them with gut punches and backstabbing accusations.
Human Nature seems to find some sort of fulfillment from severely criticizing people in groups outside of their own. Remember cliques in High School? Or do you recall the treatment of the Peace Movement, or the Civil Rights Movement, or the Parkland Students Gun Control Movement (the right to live), Voting Rights, Women’s Rights, Workers’ Rights? As I recall, all of the reactionary dynamics that I have mentioned so far have been thoroughly evident in each and every one of these Movements, and I am sure you can mention many more examples…
Beyond High School cliques, my experience in Movements has been limited to the Peace Movement (in which I was not even a foot note), The Labor Movement (must more briefly than I had anticipated), and the once called Jesus Movement (benefitting me extensively for over fifty years, whether or not I have done anything to help).
So, most of my experience is with the latter. Jesus in my life and me kind of tagging along. No matter, the most significant illustration on my topic and that immediately comes to mind is about a young woman I had never met and would never see again…
While down in Key West, working in a fish house, heading shrimp, I was strolling about one night. Along the docks came this young woman followed closely by two big boys I recognized in the darkness as fishermen. As they got near, I could hear them harassing her, and saying some things like, “You used to put out, why are you telling us ‘No’ now? Does Jesus make you too good for us?” Suddenly the men saw me standing nearby in the shadows. I hadn’t said anything. Each guy was much bigger than me… So, I don’t know what they saw, but they stopped in their tracks, looked embarrassed, turned around, and hurried away. The young woman continued her walk home in peace and security provided by the Holy Spirit. Apparently, Jesus used me by my simply being there. I had concluded the obvious, that she had recently joined the Jesus Movement and had walked away from her past life, forgiven and born anew with her new life unfolding ahead of her. But some people just won’t let it go. Not for nothing.
Whoever and whatever malcontent may be following you in your journey, Jesus just might be the answer you’re looking for, the only Movement I know that keeps going on into eternity.
I have experienced many other interventions in my life and in the lives of others. At some point, I hope readers will realize God is real, Jesus is real, and you can earnestly ask God to intervene in your lives. He will personally aid and protect you in a new life, the new life He will provide for you, and where you can walk away toward a new home, a home far from your old hurt filled life, that life which you may finally realize isn’t all that you thought it was or all it should be.
Life is a journey. Choose to walk the righteous road with Jesus.