It happens so regularly in Society…

It’s happened to you probably a few times already this week. But hopefully it didn’t happen to you as tragically as this.

Robert Johnson never thought his night would go like this. According to what we know, he was just going to support a friend. But somehow, all hell breaks loose.

Who knows how it all happened…

You were outside.

But for some reason, the police are on the scene and your friend’s being questioned.

Man, I ain’t got time for this. The Mesa Police already have a bad rep…I need to go home…

You start to leave but the officer calls out to you and tells you to wait.

So now you’re waiting…

Using your cell phone and waiting…when four or five other officers come up and surround you. Of course all you can do is back down…literally…put your back up on the wall.

But all of a sudden three of the officers start punching you in the face and kicking you. One of the other officers finds a space to fit in…doesn’t seem to want to really get his hands dirty. But also doesn’t want to be left out…

You don’t want the crew thinking you get squirrely around a little roughhousing…

You take an ass-whopping of epic proportions, while just laying there.

Now I know…

Some of y’all are saying: “but you don’t know what happened before the video started…” Or, “you can’t hear what he said to officers…” Or, “if you just obey the police, you’d have nothing to worry about.”

And, of course I’d say that none of that matters…that there clearly was NO NEED for all of that violence and force.

Nevertheless, that’s not my point in this article…

I want to look at something else…

I want to look at that one officer who didn’t do anything…

You know…this one…


And I want to understand what was going through his head at that moment. While his crew is throwing blows and pummeling the crap out this guy, what is on his mind?

I guess Mesa Police would classify him as one of the “good ones.” One of the 99.9% that do the job the right way…

Although, he stands out as the only one who doesn’t quite seem to understand the job he’s been hired to do.

But really…what’s going on in his head? And what’s that about?

Because that’s the thing we all do…

Again, maybe it isn’t that tragic when we do it. Maybe it hasn’t yet been that tragic – thanks be to God!

But we still do it…just like him.

We try to hide, when we should be speaking up…

We don’t really want to be there…we don’t really want to be part of what’s going on…we “don’t condone it.” But, in that moment we cannot say anything. In that moment, we’re afraid. In that moment we’re silent.

Why is that?

And…as a Theologian I must also ask: what does that say about us – in relation to God?

Surely, I don’t know him…I don’t know anyone on the Mesa police force. I don’t think the names of any of the officers has been released. I’m sure no one is going to ask him…or at least won’t ask him in a public forum.

So all we can do is imagine…

There are three responses in situations like that.

  1. Say/do something to stop whatever it is
  2. Say/do nothing whatsoever. Or,
  3. Join in

To join in makes a clear statement that you suffer from the same corruption as those who started the act. To stop others from behaving ungodly is the highest form of praise, for you will save a soul from death.

But, to say/do nothing? What does that say?

I’ve spent some time wondering about that, and it will be the topic of my message this Sunday. (You can get a notification for my sermons by clicking here)

You see, we have to understand why this happens to us…why is it that we find ourselves unable to speak up when we know we should? How do we overcome that urge to stay silent? How do we become more effective and bold in speaking up for all that is right and good and joyful?

If you’re interested in regularly engaging these kinds of questions, click here to take a journey with me

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