Writer: Citizens deserve to be heard

Well, I just watched what happened at the Lynchburg City Council meeting the other night after we 200-plus citizens for the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution were dismissed. I had left, too. Never leave a political meeting ’til it’s over. I’d learned this working in Richmond, but I was so surprised by a positive vote, I forgot that important lesson.

Honestly, watching the video on council’s website made me both furious and sick to my stomach at the same time. I had been told about the attempt to reconsider the public hearing motion that had passed after we left. But nothing could prepare me for the outrageous comments made by Councilwoman MaryJane Dolan disparaging our supporters and casting aspersions on the good, law-abiding peaceful citizens and patriots of Lynchburg who had just spoken with such amazing intelligence, grace and civility. I was never so proud to be from Lynchburg and embarrassed at the same time.

That someone who purports to fairly steward our great city should harbor such feelings toward the citizens she is serving left my heart hurting. There is no reason to demonize a large and diverse group of citizens. It reminded me of when Hillary Clinton called Americans deplorables. She owes us an apology.

Regardless of Dolan’s confusing actions that could be easily interpreted as duplicitous and her impossible to defend defamation of our civil speakers, it is still my hope and sense that some very positive things could be coming from this sanctuary movement for our city. I have really hoped and prayed our efforts would serve to unite people who have been told they should be against each other but really have so much in common. Especially when it comes to protecting our loved ones and reducing violence. As a wise friend told me, “it is a life and death issue. Not a Republican/Democrat issue.”

No matter who you are, whether you are for or against this issue, we all should be appalled at the way one member on our City Council acted and spoke in this video.

But as I sat back, took a deep breath and calmed down, I pondered more deeply everything that happened last night. It was then my wife sent me a text that spoke of how God deserved the credit for the positive outcome and how good he was. Reading her text, a new thought started to dawn on me.

How amazing it really was that we actually had two 4-3 winning votes to hold a public hearing on sanctuary city status! No one thought that was possible going in. Even I knew what the vote would be a 5-2 loss was inevitable and the best we could hope for. Maybe 4-3 loss with a miracle. All the experts had told me as much. But then the impossible happened.

Two councilmembers who spoke against a Sanctuary City declaration, MaryJane Dolan and Sterling Wilder, both voted for at least one of the motions to pass at separate times. That means five out of seven members cast a vote for our issue! Two Christmas miracles.

Please watch the video and then decide for yourself what you think happened. Chaos theory or providence?

Then mark your calendar to attend the public meeting on Jan. 14 with your family, friends and neighbors no matter which side you are on. And offer up a prayer of thanks that God still moves in mysterious ways among the affairs of men. But it seems he moves even more miraculously when His people move first.

I’m reminded of what Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”



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