Saturday, May 7, 2011 - It is my hope that this date will be yet another "Shot heard 'round the world," or at least a shot heard throughout Fresno! Scarlet Revolution has completed it's first big "Love Run", providing lunches to more than 170 people in addition to handing out toiletry care packs and clothing to so many.
As many are are aware, the phrase "Shot heard 'round the world" has it's origins in the American Revolutionary War. Specifically it refers to the beginning of the War when an unknown party pulled their trigger in an armed stand-off between British forces and local militia, turning civil disorder into the battles of Lexington and Concord.
Think about it, someone had to pull the first trigger or else there would have been no movement. Just armed men, standing ready, but accomplishing nothing. Though there are so many individuals and organizations in the Fresno area that have been battling against displacement, addiction, starvation, prostitution, and so many other cancers that have been consuming our community from the inside out for years, the people involved in Scarlet Revolution have been armed, standing ready... accomplishing nothing. But Saturday, May 7, 2011 changed everything!
The first shot has been fired and we are believing that the enemies encampment has felt the repercussions to its very core! These bullets of truth have cut through the obsidian fog that surrounds the displaced communities in downtown Fresno, allowing light to penetrate. In the natural realm, the Central Valley is know for it's fog, it is especially heavy in areas that are not well populated. Where light standards have not been set, homes and buildings are spread out. This tully fog, as some refer to it, can be daunting. It's blinding abilities are two-fold, in that it not only conceals what lies just ahead, but it also intensely reflects, refracts and disperses the light being shined so that it affects ones vision as well.
In a simple search online, I found that Fog is described as "a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of a cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated locally".
I would assert that the fog that has gripped the downtown area of Fresno and the lives of so many throughout the Fresno/Clovis area meets this criteria, it is a collection, but not of water, but of lies, lies about who these people are, their value to God and others, their ability to change their circumstances, the very existence of a God that loves them and people that care.
This fog is low-lying, it surrounds these individuals, the homes that they've made for themselves and keeps them from seeing the possibility of a different life. It keeps them imprisoned in patterns of behavior and broken thinking. It keeps them immobile in fear, fear of additional failure, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection.
This fog is generated locally, it feeds and grows solely on the lies perpetuated by their life experiences. Experiences that have told them: No one genuinely cares for me, therefore no one will. I have not accomplished anything in this life, therefore I never will. I have not been able to change, therefore I can not. These statements may be logical outside of a relationship with Jesus, but that does not make them true!
The opposite of fear is Love... dark, Light... death, Life...
Scarlet Revolution launched many flares into the darkness on Saturday and we pray that these flares would position us to go back in and lead people out of the fog by hand into the all powerful, never inhibited, all loving, never failing Love of Jesus. The One who DOES LOVE fully, CAN REFLECT the person God actually created them to be, IS ABLE to show them the path back to a life abundant, and HAS CHANGED so many lives already! Including mine.
If all Christians were honest, despite how the world might view our lives before Jesus, we were all in a dense fog of lies and are now free. Jesus alone offers true freedom!
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
If you find yourself armed, ready for something great and accomplishing nothing, I encourage you to join us! The more hands we have the more we can accomplish!!
Please go to the Scarlet Revolution facebook page for more pictures of Saturday's efforts and learn how you can get involved!
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