08-21-2020 The Shame of Shaming

It’s been a great week in our development.  Two new houses are being built just around the corner. Trenchers and excavators, dump trucks and cement mixers, have all made their appearances. Best of all, the Stone Slinger.  Everyday, I go out and shoot some video and send it along to our two-year old grandson in Memphis who knows more about construction vehicles than I will ever know.  If you want to see a Stone Slinger in action, I’ve got video.  Message me and I’ll forward a copy.

Two new houses in the neighborhood, but a few empty lots remain.  A couple of days ago a tractor with a bush whacker showed up to whack the bushes and weeds growing on the empty lots.  I went out to shoot some video to send to our two-year old grandson in Memphis.

A few minutes later, the tractor driver knocked at the door.  I answered.  He was a nice guy, but wondered if he had done something wrong.  Was the video to be sent to his boss along with some complaint?  I told him the only person who’d get a copy of the video was our two-year old grandson who loves tractors.  Relieved, the tractor driver said he’d be glad to let our grandson sit on his tractor any time.  I told him he lived in Memphis but thank you very much. He was a nice guy, that tractor driver.

I’ve been thinking about the tractor driver and the anxiety I caused him. Smart phones have put the possibility of video recording just about anything a few screen taps away – all the time, any time. To be sure, a video posted to social media may be used in the cause of justice. We know the stories.  But in our cancel culture and with our shame obsession, the ubiquitous cell phone video has done great harm, as well. Twitter mobs and campus cliques thrive on vicious video.

Mobs and cliques, fueled by fear and their own insecurity and false sense of superiority, have been around as long as people have been around.  Think of the mobs surrounding Lot’s house in Sodom (Genesis 19:4-7) or Jason’s in Thessalonica (Acts 17:5-9). Think with deep sorrow and true repentance of the American lynch mob.

Luke tells us the mob in Thessalonica was incited by “some wicked men of the rabble.”

Cell phones in hand, ready to cancel or shame at the slightest (imagined) offense, we have become the wicked people of the rabble. Nice guy tractor drivers worry about what we might do. Shame on us.

The plumber is working at the new house sites around the corner.  Not much by way of interesting video for a two-year old in Memphis. Soon enough, though, some exciting construction vehicle will be back, and I’d love to send some video to our grandson. Maybe I should wear a sandwich board sign – “Video being taken for a two-year old who loves construction vehicles.”

Lord, keep me from being a wicked person of the rabble.