My heart was broken to read about the death of another young black man in America who was unarmed. I mourn the fact that his children will never hear his voice again or feel their daddy pick them up and hold them close; I think it is horrible that his grandmother had to cower in her house because there was shooting in her backyard. Regardless of what he was suspected of doing, I was stunned to read about the 20 shots fired at one man by two officers. Were there no other options to even disable a suspect? I’m not an officer, so I don’t know what was going on in their minds, but I can empathize with the anger that their decision has unleashed.
And even though there aren't answers yet, there are lots of questions. And rightly so.
I was also immediately saddened because of the division that started to fill my news feed. As soon as the articles started to be posted, the fighting started. There was anger and denial on the sides of both whites and blacks who all call themselves Christians. The discussions were rarely about listening. The battle lines of “them” and “us” were quickly redrawn. This is how it starts, brothers and sisters. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and if he can use anger and injustice to fuel the destruction of the Church, he will do it.
Without forgiveness, we relive the past, resurrected in our own tragic, angry version of it.
We fail to listen to one another. We come at each other, going for the jugular of anyone who doesn’t agree with our perspective. Like loose cannons, we fire at anyone who opposes our perspective.
And instead of a healthy Body that functions with its many members working in harmony, we sicken the Body, as we produce more venom, more bile, more anger.
In the middle of your anger, where is Jesus? Is the image of Christ reflected in how you engage with the terrible issues of our day? Are you seeing individuals and giving them a chance, or are you so frustrated that all you can see is a collective “They”? (“Well, __________ people are all like…”)
Where’s the love that’s supposed to be the trademark of Christianity?
Jesus was not blind to injustice, and yet, He gave a clear command that we can forget in our frustration:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
- Matthew 5:43-45
Are you praying for those you’re posting about? Are you praying for those you’re arguing with and calling names? Are you reflecting Christ as brightly as you can be?