As a foreword…today I will be a guest on My Journey of Faith blogtalk radio show. It begins at 1:30 PM Central. I would love to have you join me.
Sometimes unthinkable things happen all around and there is nothing you can do to stop it. A tornado hits, a hurricane blows, or a flood rises and there is a crisis no human can avert.
Other times unthinkable things happen when sinful flesh rubs against sinful flesh. Guns blaze, knives slice, and wounds centuries old break open and spill out.
Inevitably people safe from harm’s way philosophize. People not splattered in blood claim they know why or what or how. Anger boils and rolls because perceived wrongs or perhaps true injustice. There is no telling because the voices of those stained with the blood of the dead cannot be heard over the din of history or philosophy.
I have never feared those in authority over me because those in authority in my life have never abused their authority. Maybe the pale color of my skin prevents me from fearing the abuse of power. But I am not African-American or male.
However my heart aches for those caught in the crossfire of a war that isn’t against flesh and blood. It is a war of ideas. The idea that every person – no matter what gender, what color of skin, or even whom they are sexually attracted to – is important and valuable. They matter because each are created in God’s image.
That means the policeman who shot a gun and a young man walking down a street they both are God’s image bearers. They both are significant. They both deserve justice. It means that each business being looted deserves restitution. Each man, woman, and child ought to feel safe around authority – be it parents, police, or teachers. No one ought to live in fear of walking out his or her door.
My heart longs for stories of reconciliation like the stories Catherine Claire Larson tells in her book As We Forgive. Where we as a nation can reconcile our past and look forward to a future unencumbered by racial divides and tensions. Where forgiveness and grace runs deep and those in authority truly seek justice, wisdom, and equality.
I do not have the answers because the problems are complex and complicated. But I do pray that we as a nation will seek forgiveness, offer grace, and genuinely reach across racial boundaries to learn to live side-by-side in grace and equality.