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Where was God in the Riots

I am sure there are a number of people asking where God was in 2020. During the riots hundreds of business owners must have asked that question as they watched their businesses being looted then burned to the ground. We live in the modern age. How many of those store owners watched live video of people breaking into their stores, steal everything, then start the store on fire. Those store owners put all their money, time, blood, sweat, and tears into those stores only to watch everything go up in flames. Can you imagine what they went through while sitting at home watching all of that unfold on their surveillance cameras. For millions it was a time to test their faith. Imagine owning a store where the riots erupted with the ability to monitor surveillance camera inside and outside your store from your phone where you were continuously tempted to check those cameras every minute of the day. Even though the app on your phone was programmed to send an alarm to your phone the moment the motion detectors sensed movement, would you trust the senors and app, or you would physically check those cameras every few minutes? Especially when the mostly peaceful protests were just outside your door. We have this innate sense to gather information. I suspect the vast majority of those store owners monitored the news along with a number of social media outlets where live videos were uploaded for viewing. For the first time in history we had the ability to watch the news unfold before our eyes in every major city across the nation. Imagine the flood of emotions spreading across the nation as shop owners witnessed their businesses going up in flames. Not to mention the millions of employees who knew it would be some time before they could return to work. How were they going to pay their rent and bills? What did the future hold? You can be sure there were millions of prayers and questions directed towards Heaven.

Without questions, faith was being tested. But how? It would be interesting to put together a book or film using the videos taken during the riots of 2020 along with the testimonies of business owners and employees. Imagine the stories we would hear. I am sure there are quite a number that would bring people to tears. So we have to ask, where are the stories covering the losses in those days and the people behind those stories? Has the media lost sight of the humanitarian side of the story behind the story?

Then there is the other side of the story. No one has seen any interviews with the people who took to the streets to protest in those days. It seemed no one was interested in finding out why those people decided to break into stores and take anything they could carry. Or send people’s hopes, dreams, and hard work up in smoke. Okay there was that murder of George Floyd that unfolded live, uploaded via cell phones and social media. But we have to ask, why didn’t people use a little common sense and give the system time to examine the facts and allow the justice system to run its course? After all, wasn’t that the question at hand? Does the justice system treat all people equally no matter what their race, creed, or color is? How is that question going to be answered when a small radical portion of society is allowed to dictate what is fair, and what is not fair? What kind of society is created when mob rule is allowed to dictate justice?

When those protests began, the demand for justice was at the heart of the message. That message quickly turned into rioting, looting, and burning. Where is the justice in that? One group of people shouted for justice as another group looted and burned. In every sense of the word, those people were displaying their faith, or lack of faith. Everyone had a choice. You want to talk about equality, take a look at equality as a whole, not one tiny portion of equality or justice you want to dissect and twist to emphasize your point, or political stand. Examine faith as a whole.

Those who lost businesses, income, and everything they worked for knew their faith was being tested. That same test applied to those who took to the streets to peacefully protest for justice. Some of them believed their actions would call attention to an issue near and dear to their hearts. And there were some whose faith was tested in quite a different way. They had a choice of respecting the property of others, or throwing all respect out the window and taking what they wanted. Not what they needed, but whatever appeared to have any value. Their faith was being tested on the same level as everyone’s faith in the courts of Heaven where everyone is judged by the same law. And that law never wavers.

After asking why more videos from inside those stores were never featured on news stories, we have to ask why phone videos taken outside those stored were shown none stop for days and weeks at a time. People took cell phone videos of the crimes they committed and posted them on the Internet like trophies of their accomplishments. People displayed their videos of the riots like they were proud of their work. In some way they used those videos as a means of justifying their actions. Their message was to demand justice. Their means was to break the law so their message would be heard and understood. No one has to read the Bible to know, stealing is against the law. Every country in the world has civil laws against stealing. That is universal. The rioters and looters knew they were breaking the law. They dwelt with that by recording and posting their crimes on the Internet. Which doesn’t make any sense no matter how you look at it or no matter which side of the issue you stand on. Beyond any shadow of doubt, people chose to break a number of laws to deliver a message. That message was equal justice for all. Did they make their point? Has anything changed since that message was delivered?

Of course things changed. A few people were arrested and charged. Most of them were set free on a signature bond and out on bail within a few hours. A justice system we see alive and well two years later. Has that system of justice made this country safer? Has it made life better for everyone? We can look at the news and see, even though the riots have ceased, thefts have risen. Are those thefts still a part of the message they are attempting to deliver? It seems the message has been kicked to the side of the road while thefts and robberies are quickly rising. The only thing that has not changed is, their faith is still being tested.

When we look back at the total picture we see how the riots in 2020 were used as an excuse to release criminals on signature bonds. Some of the highest ranking democrats helped fashion a plan to release criminals and used the cry for justice as an excuse to introduce a new, one sided form of justice. The riots were all about justice. Democrats responded by releasing criminals arrested during the riots. That concept of quick released spread into all aspects of crime and has continued for over two years. A quick look at the news in mid 2022 shows how criminals on every imaginable charge go through a revolving door. Arrested one day and out the same day on a signature bond or very low bail. Many of the criminals were arrested on weapons charges and violent crimes. In 2022 it is not unusual to see stories of mass shootings where the shooter was out on bail. Many of those criminals are facing 20-30 court cases. Some nearly one hundred and some have over a hundred arrests. In no time at all they are back out on the streets. Keep in mind, the riots in 2020 were all about equal justice. What kind of justice do the victims have? What kind of justice do parents have when their children are slain in the streets and the shooter is back out on the streets in less than 24 hours. Is that the equal justice people took to the streets for in 2020?

During the riots of 2020 we’ve seen the full spectrum of faith being tested from one end to the other. Some people felt like Job. Loosing everything they worked for while watching it go up in smoke. Those people had to dig deeper than most of us ever had to dig to cling onto their faith. Some may have relied on insurance or savings during those dark times. But there are people out there who knew how the system would work and they would be lucky to collect pennies on the dollar for their losses. Some people felt certain the government would step in to save the day. We are past that belief. As expected the government gave billions to companies showing record profits during the covid-19 shut downs and the riots. For some reason the government was more concerned about helping the criminals than the business owners who suffered major losses. That ranged from mom and pop inner city stores to high end downtown luxury retailers. Who do you think was heavily insured and who do you think the insurance companies catered to and who did the insurance companies shaft in the process? Within that spectrum of faith is a spectrum of help and fair play from insurance companies as well as government agencies we are able to openly view. Those levels of service also reflect their levels of faith. Did insurance companies treat everyone fairly on the same levels of justice? Did the people protesting for justice pay attention to that system at work, or were they only concerned with the tidbit of justice they cut out claiming that was the entire view of justice the world had to see? Did the rioters decided it was their role to expose their concept of justice to the world while ignoring every other aspect of fairness?

When we begin to look back on what unfolded in 2020, we begin to see sides of the story that seem to have been over looked. Today we call it censoring or selective news and media coverage. No matter what we call it, we can all admit, we never saw 1/1000th of the story. Even so, we all feel qualified to make judgments on what happened based on the information we received and witnessed. Which brings up another measure of faith. The faith we have in the information we gather. In every case, we have to consider the source. But lets take a look at another source.

Without a doubt, the events of 2020 were recorded on hundreds of store videos, cameras installed by cities to combat crime, and of course, personal phones. We have millions of hours of video to review. More than any single person could review in a life time. All of that pales to God’s ability to see, record, and review every detail of every person’s life. Which should be at the center of everyone’s faith, or lack of faith. It takes as much effort to ignore God’s convictions as it does to cling onto the love and hope God holds out during trying times such as these. The fact of the matter is, faith can be calculated and measured based on the amount of time and effort put into reviewing events that unfold. When little time and effort is invested, little faith is received. The same is true when faith is compared to conviction. If crimes are committed and little or no time is exerted to review why that crime was committed, little is done to see and accepted God’s hand in changing that attitude. It is true, people struggle with the crimes they commit and the conscience that goes along with those crimes. People are known to run away from those convictions rather than deal with them. Which is the biggest oxymoron about that entire event in 2020. A cry for justice ignited the entire scene across the world. Every single one of those protesters claimed they wanted justice. Those who committed crimes during those protests and riots couldn’t wait to trample over justice and bury it as deep as they could. A large part of justice is the conviction it carries. Without the conviction of a conscience, there can never be justice of any form. That’s the way it has always been and the way it will always be. What started out as protests for justice quickly turned out as a war against God’s convicting Spirit. While on the other hand, the results of those riots quickly spread as an enlightenment of God’s will that comes only from the most sever trials.

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