These people are going town-to-town getting off the bus, and seeking trouble through mixed groups. Negro men and white women trying to force themselves into situations, which tend to inflame the local people, and in such a manner to incense them and to enrage them and provoke them into acts of violence. That's what they have done.When you watch the show Freedom Riders you will notice that the southerners make excuses for their behavior.
Black and white – men and women – were asking to be able to ride together on buses, and wanting to sit together in waiting areas. The southerners were inflamed and enraged over the fact that these AGITATORS don’t take the Jim Crows laws seriously!
I can’t even imagine how completely scared the agitators were. I know for myself my stomach would be doing flip-flops at the very least.
There were those that agreed with the principal they stood for, but honestly thought they were nuts to take it this far! WHY would you purposely walk into a line of fire that you KNOW may get you killed!
People place themselves in harms way all the time for PRINCIPAL! It was the correct, moral, and ethical, truly compassionate human principle they were standing on.
It takes guts to stand there, and take the abuse that was given in return. THAT is what they truly did! It was the choice of the southerners to react with violence.
The Repeating Theme of History
We know that now, but honestly? The theme tends to repeat itself over and over in history. It plays out in different ways, but this theme of ‘they made me do it’ is always present.
Abusive people claim this all the time, “They made me do it!” Focus Ministries early on in my journey of dealing with abuse sent me a sermon called, “The Destructive Secret”. This sermon helped me realize ‘they made me do it’ was a lie that harmed me.
Dr. Lutzer speaks of the ‘root of rage’ within people that abuse others, and unless we deal with the root – the root will remain.
That part of his sermon made a HUGE impact on my life! Why? I didn’t make them do it. I remember later on I went through a very ‘angry’ time in my life, because I was always told it was my fault somehow.
I was mad at my family, the church, and even some well-intentioned enablers in my life. I wanted to HATE them back, and YES in a vindictive way. I was a nuclear bomb that had just been set off, and I wanted to spread my nuclear waste all over those that had hurt me for no other reason than ‘they could’.
I started as the well-trained child asked to take on sin that was not mine to own, and I could see the manipulative statements that others used to make me feel bad about NOT wanting to!
Heck they even made me feel badly about my curiosity as to WHY I had to ‘own this sin’ in the first place. I learned to shut up and accept it slowly but surely, because I knew I would be hurt again if I didn’t. That started from childhood – into adulthood, and my awakening had started with that ‘root’ that Dr. Lutzer spoke about.
Change that Anger!
I knew at that point I had to step back, because I knew that venom inside of me wasn’t healthy. I didn’t want to be like ‘them’, and I wasn’t going to allow this ‘hate’ to take me down to the level they had found themselves in. I knew I couldn’t live with myself, and I would regret it big time.
I decided I had a big enough load for now. I had to wait until I could feel my soul starting to cool.
I have to tell you I believe that was the nudge of the Holy Spirit, and I truly felt God’s presence in my life very strongly then. People will claim its bad to ‘vent’, but at times there are healthy ways of doing just that.
I didn’t to want hurt others even though at times I truly felt I WANTED to! I thanked God for his revelation of ‘they were not forced to hurt me’ because I knew I needed to hear just that.
On the other hand, I didn’t know what to do with all this CRAP that bubbled up afterwards along with my anger. I remember many times feeling the nudge,
“Okay Hannah its time to step back!”
or “Don’t push that ‘submit’ button on that forum! Wait for a moment! You aren’t going to say what you truly feel!”
I’m NOT going to tell you I followed the Holy Spirit’s nudge all the time, but I did most of the time. The shame I felt when I didn’t? WELL it reminded me – listen when you hear it! That is the anger talking, and not what is in your heart! It was basically me wanting to lash back.
The anger was normal, but I had to use a ‘pause’ button at times to wait for God’s truth to surface before going forward.
Anger is not bad!
Its what you do with that anger at times that can truly GET you good! It makes that scripture about allowing anger to happen, but don’t sin in that anger...it makes so much more sense to me now. After all, I was ALSO responsible for my own self-control. I will try to control my anger in a way that God would want me to, and not use the symptom of anger like others do just to hurt.
You learn pretty quick that people have manipulative statements they use to make you hush during your journey.
YOU ARE not perfect EITHER!
That statement alone made me realize they were not hearing me. I would never EVER even step near ‘I’m perfect’! I had been feeling so OUTSIDE of anything good for so long?
That statement just enraged me. I mean, “How DARE YOU! Since you are not perfect either how about you SHUT UP!”
(giggles) NO I never said that, but I was feeling it! I realized later if we all had to wait until people were ‘perfect’ we would never settled any issues EVER! I still think it’s a dumb tool they use in their toolbox.
It was a very disconcerting period.
It was as if one civilization was becoming unhinged, and was free floating and taking on water.
People in the South felt, "I'm being asked to live in a different way, and I'm asked to have different attitudes. I'm asked to behave differently. And as I'm being made to do all of these things there are people that come on the TV in my own living room, and tell me that I am a red neck and I'm a racist, and I’m all of these things...and by god I'd like to...I'd like to punch some of them DAMN agitators right in the FACE!
I gotta hate somebody! I GOT TO HATE SOMEBODY!!
I remember when my anger was starting to settle, and God showed me new ways of looking at those that abuse. I finally was able to feel sympathy for abusers.
I can NOT and will NOT ever justify their means to abuse due to their own hurt, and even I made the decision to NOT let my own hurt run my life. I didn’t want MY own venomous hurt to be used towards hurting others.
I felt sympathy for them, because I know they must feel shame – and can’t face it. They just plain aren’t capable of dealing with this aspect of themselves for whatever reason. YES it’s a choice, and it would be a HARD path for them to change. Who said changing a pattern of behavior is ever easy after all.
You have to learn to accept the person they are, and move on with your life and not be pinned down due to their ‘hoovers’ or guilt trips, etc that they place on you so that you won’t move on without them.
Yes, they basically don’t want to be left behind. They will do anything in their power to keep others from moving ahead as well. They completely miss the principal due to their brokenness.
‘Those damn agitators are telling me to live a different way, have a different attitude, and to behave differently?’
Anyone that has dealt with abuse realize abusers do punch back! Yet again, they are not justified in doing so because they refuse to move forward.
The reality of the abused is even more confusing when the world responds to the abused like those that thought the agitators of the past were nuts for going on the Freedom Ride.
The church is especially bad in refusing to hear abuse victims,
and they often times place them between a rock and a hard place.
NO there is no justification for abuse, but what did you do to trigger it?
Translation: We prefer the tried and true myth that the victims trigger the abuser. We realize in life bad things happen to good people, but that just doesn’t apply in abusive marriages! YOU always have to DO SOMETHING if you get abused!
“Why do you stay” type of comments are said, and then next you hear the messages about this unbreakable bond.
Translation: You made your bed now lie in it, because we can’t handle this subject!
You have a ‘communication problem’ and they have an ‘anger’ problem. Didn’t you see this before you got married?
Translation: We don’t know how to deal with your reality! We are too lazy!
They don’t like hearing about the ‘root of rage',
and that the real fact is there is no resolution in the mind of the abuser – not communication issues – not an anger problem – when dealing with someone that abuses.
I will be an agitator in my own way.
YES you are being asked to live in a different way, and you are asked to have different attitudes. YOU will be asked to behave differently.
We will come into your living rooms, on the TV and radio, in the blog posts and forums – to tell you that you are ‘all of those things’ until you face the fact God would wish you to deal with victims/abusers in ways that show grace, compassion, justice and mercy for all.
YES you will have to place all those lame excuses to the side that look like bigotry of a different flavor, and I hope that term did enrage you – because truth just slapped you in the face!
The time has come that people should not stand on the side, and say we agree with you on this issue – but maybe you are taking this to far! The bigots that refuse to educate themselves, and refuse to listen to reason need some good old fashion truth!
Their attitudes play a huge part in the future of families, and if they are true to what they claim about how they wish to help GROW families?
They will stop stating it’s a small minority as their excuse to hide from this issue.
Remember Matthew 25: 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
You see Jesus even states you need to deal with this! That wasn’t my punch in your face, it came from HIM!
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