On this morning’s news there was a story about a 9 year-old girl who was assaulted by a 14 year-old boy on the school bus - and there was video! They played the video on the news, with the disclaimer that the video could be disturbing and that viewer discretion was advised. The issue is, they had already played the video while telling the headline to the story. They had already played it slightly blurred, and I was already disturbed.
I have not watched the video of #tyrenichols. I don’t want to. I don’t think I need to watch it. I know the facts and watching the video will not change the fact that five police officers sworn to protect and serve beat a man to the degree that his injuries resulted in his death. Watching it will not change that fact that emergency medical personnel watched the assault and did not intervene. The video will not answer the question of why.
I think it’s good that police wear body cameras, I certainly do not debate the fact that video evidence is supremely helpful when detectives are attempting to piece together the events of an incident. Video is helpful to the judge and jury that will hear the case. Video is hepful to families as they certainly deserve to know what happened to their loved one. In my opinion, however, these violent videos do not need to be viewed by everyone on earth.
Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” To keep our eyes healthy, and our body healthy and to live a life filled with light, we must use Godly discretion in what we choose to view. We can’t watch all of the released police body-cam videos. We can’t watch pornography and Jeffrey Dahmer documentaries. We can’t indluge in sin through the screen and live in the Spirit.
We are equipped with with five senses and an imagination. When we hear the news headlines, we form a mental picture of the scene. Sure, our mental imageray will not be perfectly accurate to exactly what occurred, but it’s enough for us to gain sufficient understanding of the events that occurred. When the video is released, what actually happened is usually worse than we imagined, and have dimmed our light. We imagined it one way, which was bad enough, but what we may see could be horrific, senseless, merciless, inhumane, and we wonder how could another human being do those things to to one of God’s children. We wonder how someone could lose control of themselves for that length of time? We see the evil human beings are capable of and we may find it hard to believe that every person we know and meet is someone God loves and pursues. Darkness. Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. If we allow our light to be dimmed by through what enters our eyes, we will miss the work God has for us. We will not recant God is good, All the time. We will cease to pray rather than praying without ceasing.
You don’t have to watch the video to be angry or distraught or about what happened. You don’t have to watch the video to see the need for police reform. You don’t have to watch the video to be in prayer for the people involved, including those who have received disciplinary action. You don’t have to watch the video to #staywoke and speak with your own children about their safety and conduct with police or others in authority. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. Amen.