A Nation Responding With Riots and Protests
My heart is breaking over the loss of George Floyd, as just the most recent in alarmingly frequent stories of wrongful deaths. Our nation is responding with riots and protests… we say in trauma training, “Behavior is the language of a child who has lost their voice…” I keep thinking as I see the demonstrating, their behavior is a result of not feeling heard.
So let’s listen. As the Church, Christ representatives on Earth, we cannot be silent. Silence sounds like support. I know we can worry and wonder if we are going too far, or not far enough if we are saying it right or wrong, and in all that wondering, we freeze. We need to use our voices and become better advocates and listeners.
I am sad, anguished, angry… Anger is a secondary emotion, and it sits on fear. What am I afraid of? That things won’t change, that people won’t be valued, that too many people are silent, that we are a divided nation. I have children of color, so this hit close to home, but even if I didn’t – this should hit close to all of us in God’s family.
What Does The Bible Say?
The Bible says we are a part of the kingdom of priests, which means: when people interact with us, they should know more about God as a result. If I am generous, I give them the impression God is generous. If I am kind, or joyful, I reflect His kindness and joyfulness. The more I can reflect God’s mercy for the oppressed, the more like Him I look.
God is not okay with what happened, so I am not okay with what happened. This is not an issue of political correctness, but of gospel righteousness. As children of a just God, we take a stand for justice and against injustice wherever it may be found. We are expected to “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before the Lord our God (Micah 6:8.)” The Church has to stand against injustice- it’s happening all around the world, to all kinds of people groups, and it’s not okay anywhere, to any group of people.
Hear me in this – God is for: restoration, reconciliation, redemption, rescue, repair, healing… He is for all people; He is for peace. God is against hatred, confusion, condemnation, destruction, loss, brokenness. That’s the enemy’s storyline. And we have no business in it.
Here’s what we can do, Church.
Let’s go beyond social media posts. Let’s:
- Listen to understand. What’s our scope of proximal influence? How intentional are we? Who is on our phone? Who comes to our house? Let’s make friends with people who aren’t anything like us.
- Read, get educated – there’s no excuse for ignorance.
- Don’t be silent. If when we see or hear something not okay, let’s bring peace to chaos.
- Ask ourselves: Are our actions showing the true nature of the gospel? What might God be inviting us into? How can we be an agent of reconciliation in our community?
- Pray. Pray for every person in the story. May God encounter them and transform their lives.
Lord Jesus, give us a chance to look like You. To be light-bearers and shalom bringers into our communities and this conversation. We will look for opportunities and conversations to engage in and bring You into. We want to be kingdom advancers – give us the courage, and wisdom to do so.