This is part three of five of the Divinely Bold series, which I was supposed to publish last week. Extensive travelling plus a defective computer prevented me from doing so, only making it possible for me to write today. The timing could not be more sensitive.
This series is about standing up and facing the fears of life’s daunting everyday events, to live fully this life of abundance God has for us. I did not think that during this series I’d be writing about news events, but I can’t keep silent when so many of my sisters live in the fear that themselves or a loved one may be going through an injustice that can be as cruel as what is happening right now in the US. I don’t know what it’s like to be black or a cop, but I’m human, and I know pain. I cannot hope to speak of resilience without looking the elephant in the room right in the eyes.
What On Earth Is Going On?
It’s hard enough to add the name of another life taken unjustly every now and then on a bloody and sad list – especially when the death of that person happens because of the melanin content in their skin – but what is taking place now is proof that some deep changes need to take place. Skin color should be celebrated as a gift from God, perfect the way it is. If you don’t like black skin just as much as you like white skin, brown skin, freckled skin or any other skin, I hope your heart will change. What is happening these days should chill everyone’s blood. It should push people to have enough of injustice. Unless we get up and take action, it may very well go from bad to worse.
I feel for you, beautiful, brave woman, who suffers the injustices of racism. I will never fully know your pain, but it hurts when you hurt.
I feel for you, beautiful, brave woman, who suffers the injustices of blind revenge caused by the behaviours of some law enforcement officers. I will never fully know your pain, but it hurts when you hurt.
We’ve got to stop with the us VS them mentality. We’re all in this together.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere
In the words of the late Dr. King from a Birmingham jail cell, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” I can’t go to bed at night and think “poor them” and sleep a good night of sleep. I can’t because my husband is black. I can’t because I have cops in my family. I can’t because I’m human. I can’t because I know that many of you who will read this are affected personally. Today, I cry with you.
Jesus Is The Solution For Such a Time As This
We know that Jesus did not come so that we would have a simple easy life. He came to instil a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, in which there is no male nor female, no Jews nor Gentiles… We could add, no black, no white, no blue… Not that we should become colorblind, color is beautiful. But we should stop putting one before the other, as better or more important. God’s Kingdom is that of pure, fearless, unadulterated, unconditional love. And that comes at a price. Is your walk with Christ comfortable? If so, may I suggest that you reconsider if it’s really with Christ you’re walking? Christianity is not for the faint of heart. It is for people who are willing to die to themselves daily, dying to what’s primal and natural to them, to let the order of God’s Kingdom prevail for His glory. If Jesus died for ALL of us, why should we think that we deserve the right to chose who lives and who dies, who’s important and who’s not?
Being Agents of Justice
As Christ followers, it is our responsibility to take the road less travelled, the path less secure, and fight for justice, so that humankind may know the love and justice of God. I’ll again use the example of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. His faith in God and his belief in human dignity and equality led him to actions that would deeply frighten most of us. I’m sure most of the time he simply did it afraid, out of a strong faith and a sense of responsibility towards God and His children. Do we embody our beliefs? Do we walk our talk? Do we allow God’s Word to take on flesh through us? Faith without works is dead. Is our faith dead?
But what is it that can be done?
For one, we need people that will get together and pray. Fervent prayer has much power. The Bible says the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. We need to pray, pray, and pray some more.
We can stand against racism. Racism in our own hearts, when we catch ourselves with a thought that is discriminatory, or prejudicial towards anyone, even one like us. Then we can be a beacon of light in our communities, by not tolerating racism around us in any form. This might not make us popular, but it will make us change makers. We also need to remember to be peacemakers, because some racist folks will push our buttons, but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
We can also blend in. One really good way to see beyond our differences is by walking with people that are not like us. If all your friends and family look like you, talk like you, think like you, it would be truly beneficial to seek to do life with people that are different from us. In the words of Chrystal Evans-Hurst, “change happens at the speed of relationship”. Relationships are what we have that matters most in this world. Relationship with God, and relationships with others. Don’t believe me? Let Jesus convince you: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40, NLT) I have much more to say on the subject, but that will be for another post.
We can listen. What do people say, how do they feel, what is the cry of their heart? What can we learn? How can we bring healing, or at least not cause more pain?
We can also apologize. We may not be the one behind the crime, but we can be deeply sorry for what happened. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, let’s remember that.
And… Last but not least, we can ask ourselves the hard questions. Why do people feel like they need to carry guns? Maybe, just maybe, people don’t need them THAT much? Do I value my rights more than my relationships?
Developing Resilience In This Mess
The five keys I’m about to share are just a guideline. Each one of us still needs to fill in the blanks with our realities and the state of our hearts.
1. We face reality. It begins with acknowledging how crazy things are. It will stir something in us that needs to come out.
2. We take it to God, cry before him, until we have no more strength to fight back against the wrong enemy. He will give us a sweet peace that nothing can change or move.
3. We fight the good fight. We can send a letter to our government, join a group that is seeking peace and reconciliation, pray for others, remember that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.
4. We resist the devil, when he tempts us to play the blame game. There is only torment in this approach. The enemy of our souls wants us to do the wrong thing. His plan is to steal, kill, and destroy. But if we resist the devil, he will flee.
5. Remember God’s Promise. He says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NLT) It may not immediately change how we feel, but it will change how we think.
God’s promise of one day living without the hurts of this world has carried me through much pain, I hope you will find rest for your soul in it: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelations 21:4, NLT)
Remember, we’re all in this together. Share your heart in the comments below.
Read more posts from this series: