As I sit here typing, I’m holding my son. The Lord created my little boy and grew him in my womb for approximately 40 weeks and 5 days before I met him and his sister face-to-face. This little black boy is crying in my arms and holding tightly to me because he is in need of comfort. I have been his mama since I found out that he was growing inside of me. I’ve been his mama since before I knew he was a boy or that he was a twin. He knows that I am here for him and that I will be here when he needs anything. I’m sure that when his sister is having a difficulty, he tells her in their special toddler twin talk, “go to mama.”
Fear is currently consuming our nation. Fear and hurt and anger. People don’t know what to do, so they do what they think is best – whether that’s silence, sharing on facebook, or marching the streets.
It seems that each time a black person is killed…
I’m going to pause here for a moment.
Fear. The racial tension sparks fear. But this post is not about who did what or who is to blame or the justice system. This is not about the facts of one particular situation, but the problem as a whole. This is not the time to debate whether or not this one person did this or that or the other. This is not the time to debate whether or not justice is being served. This is about the hurt and uncertainty and fear that comes as we hear the narrative play out again and again and again.
Now I’ll continue…
It seems that each time a black person is killed by police and the media takes hold of it, the citizens turn on each other. A dialogue is necessary, but what is the topic of that dialogue? Too often the conversation is one that either defends – without any real consideration for the hurt – the actions of the officer without any details of the situation. Or it’s about how racism – even though we can’t read the hearts of individuals because we are not God – is the driving force in every situation before having the details. I’m going to say that both of those responses goes too far.
We as believers have hope – even in the midst of hatred, racial tension, and death – that is greater than anything the world can offer. When these situations arise – and they will again – we have an opportunity to share that hope with hurting and confused and afraid and angry people. Our response should not look exactly like those who have not been bought with the precious blood of Jesus, but instead we should be like my son, telling others, “go to Papa.”
Peter lays out the truth of the gospel. Then he says, “Coming to Him…” (1 Peter 2:4a). He goes on to talk about what is being done in the lives of believers who have come to Jesus. But I just stopped on those three words. Why? Because that is what we should be doing and bringing others to do when they are hurting.
A governmental system overhaul will not fix the problem of racism, the feeling of being misunderstood, or the tension that continues to rise, cause more incidents, and incite riots. Sitting idly by won’t make it better. Other humans can’t turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Only the God who created each of us in His image can heal people. Only God who is with us – even in this – can bring hope to the hurting. Let’s not dismiss the pain of other human beings because we don’t understand it. May we not defend the actions of those who are in sin on either “side” of the conversation. Instead, brothers and sisters, let’s bring those hurting to Jesus so that they may be saved and find everlasting hope.
Lord, I confess that I don’t always respond rightly. I become afraid and it feels consuming. But Lord I pray that you would use me and this situation for your glory. I pray that your church would know how to call people to repentance and not fear the responses they may receive. Thank you for your great grace and eternal hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.