I am writing to you on Tuesday May 26th @ 11:23pm. I am writing to you because my heart is heavy. I am writing to you because someone needs to read this. I am writing to you because I need to get this off my chest.
Today was like Déjà vu. I’ve seen this day before. Literally….The day was July 17th, 2014. It was the day that Eric Garner, a black man, died at the hands of police officers on video after saying “I can’t breathe.” He committed no violent crime. He was unarmed. He did not attack the police officers. He was choked to death after reporting that he could not breathe. I will spare us allllll the time that it would take to recount all the black lives that were taken, unjustly, before that day. I will spare us all the time that it would take to recount all the black lives taken, unjustly, between that day and today. None of us, have that kind of time. TODAY, is a day that we lost another black life, George Floyd, at the hands of police officers on video after saying “I can’t breathe.” He committed no violent crime. He was unarmed. He did not attack the police officers. He was choked to death after reporting that he could not breathe. …I copied and pasted this part. There was no reason to reword it.
Back to that day, in 2014, I remember being heart broken. I was grieving, but I was not angry…I was afraid. I was AFRAID that a day would come where I would lose MY FATHER like THIS. I was afraid on that day. I am afraid on this day. I am nauseous and brokenhearted. That is my reality. It is the reality of being black in America (a broken country in a fallen world). I am constantly praying for the safety and protection and wisdom for my Father, my cousin, my god-brothers, my pastor(s), my uncles, and my friends who look like THIS man, or like Ahmaud Arbery, or like Philando Castile, or like Trayvon Martin. I am presented with reasons to fear for their lives soooo often. I am worrying about them often. I am praying for them more often than they know.
Listen, I know that I should not fear. I know that God is in control. I know that God is a protector. I know that he is Jehovah Shalom. So, I DO give him my fears, my anger, and my burden. I am SO grateful that my heavenly Father gives me the space to acknowledge my emotions AND that he sits with me in my brokenhearted state, to comfort me. Today, I pray that God sits beside every person of color and comforts them as well.
Today, let me also speak to my WHITE brothers and sisters in Christ. I love you. I do. Now…hear me out:
I understand that when you hear of these injustices you may not get nauseous and begin to fear the lives of your loved ones. That is a privilege that you have been afforded in this life. Please, acknowledge it…privately and publicly. Please pray for God to give you clarity on how to conduct yourself in these moments (which are often for your black and brown brothers and sisters).
I also understand that we serve the SAME GOD. See, Jesus Christ came and died for the sins and FREEDOM of MAN KIND, without regard to skin tone. (we’ll just breeze over HIS skin tone for the sake of brevity). JESUS CHRIST, and thus GOD, was (and is) angered by injustice. He did not remain a by-stander when he witnessed injustice. He took action. Today, as a representative of Christ, I want you to remember, that YOU are called to do THE SAME THING. If you truly understand the nature of God, then you would understand that your silence is destructive.
You want a missions trip? Here it is. You want to serve the marginalized? Here is your chance. You want to feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Here is your opportunity.
Read a book that challenges your current perspective, shaped by your privileged life experience. (& yes, I know you didn’t ask for a privileged life….I didn’t ask for a marginalized on. this is our reality). Here’s my book recommendation.
Have a respectful discussion with a black or brown person in your church, class, or community. Probably a discussion that involves a lot of ACTIVE LISTENING from you.
Ask your black and brown friends questions. Starting with “I want to start doing my part to raise awareness, to take action, to have difficult conversations, and make the changes that are necessary for people of color in America. Where do you suggest I start? What can I do?”
&& please, spare us the argument of “well, didn’t he commit a crime.” Why? Because mass shooters (typically “non-brown” and “non-black” males) commit violent crimes, with handguns and assault rifles, taking so many innocent lives, and they STILL often live to see their day in court. After all, we are supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”, right?
Okay, lets alllll take a deep breath.
I want to thank you for reading to the end. I want to thank you for hearing me out.
No matter what you look like, I am praying for you in this season.
We need healing in our land….in more ways than one. God is still a healer. God is STILL in control.
sincerely, with a heavy heart,