As I sit in the middle of piles of photos and laundry to sort through, I’m struck with a wave of sadness.
Another shooting. Senseless violence and loss.
And honestly, the simple thing to do would to just keep my head down and go about my business – that’s the benefit of privilege. But that’s not the life Christ has called his people to. He continually called his followers to hard places, fighting injustice and giving voices to those being silenced. I am just one person, with a very limited reach for how far my voice might project, but speaking up here is the right thing to do. Let us all say something – share our stories and experiences. Let us listen to our neighbors, what they’ve been through and how their experience has shaped their views. Let us engage in respectful dialog about what it looks like to make things better for our world right now, exactly where we are.
And for the love and grace and mercy of God, let us pray.
When terrorists attack our churches and nightclubs, let us pray.
When our friends and brothers are killed because of their skin color, let us pray.
When our police officers are killed because of their job, let us pray.
When our headlines are filled with deaths, let us pray.
A few things that have helped me process, and that might help you, too:
Around this time last year when the Baltimore riots were fresh, our church held an open dialog about what it looks like to discuss the issues of injustice in a way that is reflective of Christ. Something that stuck with me from that conversation is that as Christians, people against injustice and in support of public servants, is that we are called to hold tension between being against police brutality and being for the police. These things are not mutually exclusive. Here is the podcast link if you’re interested.
What has also helped me is gaining an understanding of the #blacklivesmatter posters that sit in my neighbor’s yards. At first, I thought that #alllivesmatter was probably a better statement, that no one life was more important than the other. But through conversations with neighbors and friends, I realized that #alllivesmatter undermines the entire point of #blacklivesmatter. The concept behind #blacklivesmatter is that throughout history, black lives have been held at a lesser value. And while in the 21st century we would like to think this isn’t true, cracks in our justice system show that black lives are devalued to this very day. #blacklivesmatter is a symbol that brings this issue to the forefront – it states that this injustice exists in modern society.
A disclaimer that likely belongs on all of my posts: these are my thoughts and opinions, never absolutes or even always the right answers. I encourage further conversations about this from different perspectives, and appreciate respectful language in that regard. What I hope and pray for at the end of the day is that we can work together towards a more complete understanding of the issues at hand, so that while building our future we can do better. In these hard and painful times, let our words and prayers bring us together. Now is the time for unity, at the throne of God, begging for healing for our broken world.