I don’t know how to feel this morning. I served breakfast to my three toddlers with a deeply heavy heart. Two are white, and one is black. I am like this country. I am divided in some ways. I have read Facebook posts and blogs from the African American community and from those who serve in law enforcement. It seems so many want us to choose a side. That to believe #blacklivesmatter means that you don’t believe #alllivesmatter, or that if you stand with the #thinblueline you can’t believe there is systematic racism in this country.
There is a problem in America. Even without the media and politics adding fuel to the fire. This racial divide is not new. A friend of mine posted that she believes history is doomed to repeat itself. A friend of my husband’s can’t wait for an African American uprising. The injustice is causing people to cry out. And sometimes in the wrong ways.
I see many looking back to Martin Luther King Jr. His wisdom rings true. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The difference that some would want to forget is that Dr. King was a Jesus follower. That’s why he was different. He didn’t simply stand up against the wrong of his day (and still ours). He did it in Jesus. While others around him sought to overthrow injustice with violence, he sought peace through protest and proclaiming truth.
In our home, I am terrified for our son. That while he now lives somewhat under my white privilege, one day he will be a teenage boy, a young man. He has been called the “N word” more than once in his short life with us and has also been viewed as “white”. Neither of which are true. His innocence will wane, and he will want to be out late, date, and may make a choice that costs him his life. I don’t want that choice to be driving. I don’t want my son to lose his life. I don’t have to worry about that with our oldest son. That is the problem. We can’t ignore the truth that the system is set against some and favors others.
And the divide in my heart comes because I deeply respect and appreciate those who serve our country and protect our rights, privileges and freedoms. I realize they lay their lives down for us while we sleep soundly in our beds. Their families wring their hands and pray that they will come home each night to their own children. I don’t want their lives taken.
It is not an us versus them. And as long as it is, we will continue to see this horrible scenario played out over and over again. I don’t want history to repeat itself. But for there to be a change, people need to see a change in us. They need to see what they saw in Dr. King. They need to see Jesus. Christ is what unites. He doesn’t divide. The body of Christ, our individual churches, our words and actions, Facebook shares and posts need to cry out for a justice through peace. We grieve with ALL who grieve, and we point them to the one who restores. We have to stand with each other while standing for God. We must be a people who pray; whose hearts are broken as we seek the Lord’s face to heal our nation.
In this aftermath, a slogan or a hashtag just doesn’t seem like enough. I can be for black lives not being taken while also being for law enforcement. I am against the violence no matter what side it comes from. I am an ordinary mother who wants her children to grow up to love Jesus in a world that is wrecked by a racial chasm. I can only have hope in Christ. I can only pass that hope on. Don’t be a part of the divide. Pass on hope, unity, the Gospel.