The Layers Of Some Of That Pain Should Matter To Us
The murder of George Floyd has re-opened wounds that have never fully healed and tragically continue to be opened.
The headlines over these past few days have left many of us sad and angry.
As I work from Lubbock Texas, far away from Minneapolis, or any of the cities where peaceful protests
and not-so-peaceful riots are taking place, I cannot fall in the trap of thinking this news doesn’t affect me.
I think the mindset of
not my family
has been the problem… and it’s not fine anymore.
As a Christian, I am moved to a new understanding that these issues have deeply been impacting my family because my family includes all brothers and sisters who are unified under the banner of Jesus Christ.
Injustice and inequality are hurting God’s family and they have done so in egregious ways for some time. We need to care and acknowledge what is at stake here.
I had a conversation with a beautiful, young African American college student this past week, along with her kind father. I heard their gentle voices say – give me space.
Don’t smother me with platitudes. That’s not what is needed at this time.
I loved what I learned.
Are you guilty of not knowing what to do – I have been.
Today, it seems natural to hold my smile a little longer when I meet a person of color at the market, pumping gas, or at the park.
Things are not going to be fixed with a smile or by telling someone you are not a racist.
Even though our hearts are sincere, and we want to help, let’s not go around telling all of our African American friends some things that may sound nice but change nothing.
I believe they want us to care for the pain in their heart – they want us to understand what it felt or feels like when they are treated with such distain. When they are looked down upon.
Help Me Understand LORD has become my sincere prayer.
I want to hear these real stories – I want to create space for you all to come into my circle…our circles… and allow you to be yourself.
We want to know the layers of your fears – we want to care beyond the smile or quick prayer.
We now see clearly that your stories of hardship are very different from ours simply because of the color of your skin.
WE ARE SORRY. THIS IS EVIL.
I learned in that brief conversation that sincere words are not enough to fix the problem.
I heard the pain in the voice of another friend of how the attitudes and actions of racism have shown up in her family for quite some time, and she has encouraged her daughters to try to rise above it despite the deep pain it leaves.
We get that now – we are listening – and we are ready to acknowledge what has happened to you and your families.
Keep speaking – keep loving – keep being you. Together, we are louder.
Moms and Dads let’s think about the conversations taking place around kitchen tables today in African American homes. Can you imagine saying to your children, we just have to try harder – we have to be aware of those around us who don’t like people of color – we have to be okay being excluded – we have to be willing to be embarrassed around our peers – people will think we don’t belong in certain neighborhoods.
Let’s stop for a moment to imagine EVERYTHING that comes along with those upsetting stories – there is a lot of story to tell- there is a history full of pain. Those children will grow up and read how the devil has used mankind to commit atrocities against their people.
I asked another friend what life looked like for him, and he stated that he had not received police brutality nor had his family members. I was relieved. Racism from others has been present though.
Another friend told me about extreme police brutality for one of her family members. I was heartbroken. The bruises on the body turned to scars on the soul – no doubt. It’s time this injustice stops.
We want our voices to join your voices.
I’m going to continue asking my African American friends to tell me their stories when they are ready.
I want to sit down with them and hear what they have bottled up for way too long.
I pray the compiled stories will continue to change my heart for the better and allow me to pray different prayers.
Pastor Carl said it correctly this weekend in his message:
BUSINESS, AS USUAL, HAS TO END
I’m ready to do my part and go deeper into being part of the solution against this evil so all African Americans know they matter to us because they do, and they matter to their creator.
Satan himself tried to be superior to God himself – it’s time to RIOT in the spirit through prayer.
It’s time to check our hearts.
It’s time to repent.
It’s time to be kind.
It’s time for love in action.
Love has the power to overcome hate.
The magnificence of our individual ethnicity is what makes our world beautiful.
It’s a picture of God’s intent for mankind.
The burning down of buildings will only add pain to many more – it’s not the solution.
Killing innocent police officers who are not racists is not the answer. The swift removal of those who are racist is a must. Expose them Lord we pray.
Let’s pray for peace and unity in the hearts of God’s sons and daughters, and let’s not give up hope that our lives can make a difference in our world. Let’s pray for all those innocent lives lost and their families. There is divine work to be done…