One of my favorite characters on The Walking Dead is Eastman. When Morgan stumbles upon his cabin, suffering from PTSD and trying to kill anything he comes across, he attacks Eastman and tries to take his goat. Eastman knocks Morgan out and places him in a small jail cell inside his cabin. He then teaches him “aikido,” a Japanese martial art that aims to redirect an attacker using their own momentum.
Eastman tells Morgan, “Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for one reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.”
I can’t help but think about the Planned Parenthood shooting while watching this television show. Some people may have been at Planned Parenthood that day to end a life through abortion. We know the shooter went there to end lives through cold-blooded murder. There are some who have spoken out about the shooting, saying that because he was a white male, the police spared his life. They argue that if he were a black man or a Middle Eastern man, he would have been taken out.
From the tiny babies growing inside these women all the way up to the man who opened fire on the unsuspecting people in that clinic, we have been taught to value the lives of the most useful people in society. The most beautiful. The most talented. The ones who have the most to contribute. The Steve Jobs and Elon Musks of the world. We put them on a pedestal. But what about the unwanted babies? The murderers? The homeless? The refugees? We have been taught to dehumanize them. Discount them. Consider them less than human.
One of the hardest things to do is see people the way Jesus did. Not through the lens of what they’ve done or how they look but instead what God has done for them and what He can do through them. For me, I pray that my eyes will see everyone through Jesus’ eyes.