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Opinion: To be truly woke we need spiritual awakening
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Attendees of a “United We Stand: Unity in the Community” event hold hands as they say a prayer before releasing balloons on Athens Street in Gainesville. Balloons were released in memory of family and friends killed in Gainesville and Hall County. - photo by Erin O. Smith

When I was in the first grade, I noticed some of the other kids had a different color of skin than I did. That was the only difference that I ever noticed. 

We played the same games, ate the same lunch and did the same school work. We were on the same teams and rode the same bus. 

In high school, it was the same thing, but I got to know everyone a lot better. More serious ball games, more serious relationships were formed. Side by side for the past 20 years I have worked with people of color. Ate lunch with them, hugged their kids and learned to love them. 

Now our president says that because I am a White person, I must be a racist. Not only me, but America is systemically racist. 

I may need to apologize for being White, but I had little to do with it. If you don’t like it, you need to take it up with my maker. The president may be “woke” to a new way of thinking. I think most likely he is bent to a new way of thinking. 

Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” 

It seems like there is a great anxiety over this country today. A lot of worry in people’s eyes, like we are looking for answers. But whose answers? 

There must be a standard, and there is. To be truly woke today, one would need to be full of the spirit of God. I just don’t see a lot of that in people today, but it is available. 

How we interact with the people that we come in contact with through our lives depends on if we are spiritually woke. In other words, love your neighbor. Love people. 

Teach what we know to be true about this country and not the hatred of some people. Use words only when you have to. 

I would never put forth the narrative that all Christians are right in their thinking. I would, however, say that all Christians are broken, like everyone else. We have just figured out that we need a savior, and that savior is not the government.  

If we know how much God loves us, live like it. He cures bent people.

Jarl Echols


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