It's no secret that America has had a tough couple of weeks. Innocent lives have been lost and finally I think that we have had enough. I have tried to write so many blogs concerning the topic and I just couldn't seem to find the words to say. My heart aches. I mourn with those who mourn and my heart's cry is for change.
I woke up this morning and was reminded of the woman that was bleeding with issues for twelve years (See Luke 8:43). The Bible says that she spent everything that she had on trying to solve her problems, yet even the experts couldn't fix her. With a since of urgency she fought through a crowd to just get one touch from Jesus as he passed through. From that one touch she was healed. Jesus wanted to know who had touched him, yet his disciples told that he was surrounded and so many were pressing into him.
Some of you may be thinking, what has this got to do with America's issues of racism? Well, if anything it's a perfect depiction of our current situation. America can be depicted by the woman with issues. We have faced the issues of racism for years on end. Even with the best of everything we still can't seem to find a solution to it. We've paid great prices to fix our problems, yet nothing seems to work. Lives have been sacrificed time and time again for the sake of peace, yet here we are in present day America bleeding with issues.
A large portion of the people of America represent Jesus' disciples. We look at all the things and issues surrounding Jesus and scuff off racism because it doesn't seem urgent. We act like we should continue to ignore it because there are so many other issues at hand. It's almost as if to say that since we've lived with this for so long now, it's not an urgent priority that needs God's attention.
Jesus depicts Jesus; the solution and the healing to our issues. Even in the midst of election season, a country full of debt, a world with hungry children, He still wants to take the time for the things that matter: his children. I know that this issue is near and dear to His heart. Why? Because God loves diversity, just look around at His creation. He finds beauty in differences, if he didn't we would all look the same.
It's easy for me as a Christian to say that Jesus is the answer, but He really is. The disciples wanted Jesus to continue on to where He was headed, which was urgent, a deathly, ill child. They wanted him to ignore a woman that had always had these issues. Jesus didn't want to ignore it, he wanted to face her. When he did he told her, "Because of your faith you are healed, go in peace."
No longer can we ignore the issues that have plagued our country for so long, just because they've always been there. It is time that we apply our faith and face the problems face on. Together, we can receive healing as a nation and find peace. It has to start with you.
How can we quit ignoring the problem and bring change in a peaceful way? We need to quit ignoring the problems and face them like Jesus. We need to recognize that we need a divine intervention and that just because there are other things going on in our lives, doesn't water down the need for a healing of racism. It is time we quit accepting things because that is how they've always been and start approaching things differently.
1. Start conversations. Parents talk to your kids early on. Don't let the media or others define how your children should view other races. Plant the seed of peace unto all at an early age and then demonstrate it. If you disagree, have conversations with others where you LISTEN and try to see things from another perspective.
2. Stop ignoring it. Acting like there isn't racism because of what MLK did years ago is ignorant. Saying things like, "Well if THEY would just act differently, dress differently, speak differently," etc.... Then they wouldn't have that problem. Saying that the black community has a chip on their shoulder and there is no racism, is unknowledgeable. Then turning around and telling your white daughter that you're not racist but you wouldn't want her to raise half black kids because of the struggles they would face in society, proves that there is indeed a problem of racism in our country. Quit acting like you don't see color and instead embrace it.
3. Get involved. If you find yourself surrounded by people that look, believe and act just like you, you're part of the problem. Meet people that are different than you and challenge you. Jesus dined with people from all walks of life, so I think we should too. What and who we give our time to we typically start to show more care toward.
4. I have never feared law enforcement, so I don't know on a first hand basis of what that is like. I can only imagine what it feels like to be scared of the very people that are supposed to protect you. With that being said, there are wonderful men and women that have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving our communities. Find law enforcement that represents integrity and build a relationship with them. Give them your support and in return they'll give you theirs. Through that relationship, together you both can bring change to your community.
5. Pray for those around you. If you find yourself not liking a particular group of people, pray for them. When we devote our prayer time to people or issues that bother us, it causes us to have a heart change and to speak life over them instead of curses.
6. Stop to see it from another view. Imagine being married to law enforcement and sending your spouse out every day with the possibility of them dying to protect and serve others. Imagine getting notified that they were wounded or died because a drug deal went bad, or someone got caught breaking the law and didn't want to receive the consequences. On the flip side, imagine what it's like to have a conversation with a four year old child that is black and telling them that people may treat them differently at school, simply because they have darker skin. Imagine having the conversation with your child so early on that when you see law enforcement you will probably be suspected of things simply because of how you were born looking. Both viewpoints are so tough to digest, yet they are a reality. Consider someone else's vantage point before you predetermine your thoughts on them.
7. It's obvious that all lives matter. When someone says that black lives matter, they are not saying that theirs means more, they're saying that they want theirs to mean the same. The Black Lives Matter movement is to bring awareness that there is a break in the justice system concerning the black community. It is also a cry for equality on all levels.
I hope that my heart has been conveyed in a way that my words are not taken apart from their spirit. I speak on the issue with love and a true hope for change. I can no longer pretend that racism isn't an issue. I cannot stand by while innocent lives from the black community are being lost as well as those of police officers. It is time for our nation to approach Jesus boldly with the intentions of a healing that no one else can do, but him. May we seek healing and peace together.