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The conversation needs to be one of hope

By Jan Miller Penton

Large drops of rain spattered on the windshield, and the wiper blades swished as we began our return trip to the Land of Cotton. We had a very busy time helping our Tennessee girl move from and clean up her apartment as well as move into her new home, but we were ready to check on things at our place. Thankfully, a brief lull in the rain allowed us to load the car without drenching ourselves and our luggage.
On the ride to Tennessee we avoided stopping in some cities because of destructive crowds roaming around. As we had traveled this route many times in the past with no idea of trouble this seemed surreal. I have always thought of the people of our country as being basically good and law abiding with the occasional bad apple thrown in. I’ve never given much thought to the Mississippi flag, but if the flag truly offends people maybe a beautiful magnolia would be a more appropriate symbol of my much loved home. However, I do believe the people of any state should have the right to vote on their own flag.
As anyone who knows me is well aware, I am proud of my southern roots. Since I was in the second grade, I believe, I’ve attended school with all the children in the community, black and white. I have always reached out a hand of friendship to any who wished to take hold. With all this said I will continue with my thoughts.
Many people these days are getting on my nerves. Not the ones, like myself, who want peace and harmony among us all. But the ones who only want to stir up hatred and division; the ones who go around spouting off rhetoric while destroying other people’s property need to be held accountable. Thankfully, the people I know have handled themselves very well, and I’m proud of them. I only wish that the vast majority of decent, law abiding citizens of all races would have the collective gumption to hold others to a standard of behavior that we all need in order to be a people of peace.
I know I’m spouting off, but I’m certain that most of us only want to do our jobs, love our families, and lay our heads down after a long day in a place of safety. With God’s grace and mercy our nation can move forward, but we need to respect each other’s differences without fail.
I’m proud of who I am, actually, I’m proud of whose I am. My God came to this earth as a Jewish carpenter. He was not white or black. He wasn’t even an American, but He taught the powerful message of love and forgiveness which we all need to hear. Hopefully, the rest of 2020 will settle down as good people all over the country continue to move in the direction of reconciliation while condemning all actions that hurt others. I believe now more than ever that Christ is and always has been our only hope.