Your Life Matters

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A Time to Mourn.

I don’t often cry on my way to work. Normally it’s just a dull drive in, weaving between the slow drivers while trying not to get rear-ended by the fast ones. But this past week, I found myself sitting in traffic with a tear on my cheek.

I was listening to a panel discussion at the Village Church. Pastor Matt Chandler was interviewing four African-American believers about how they reacted to the shootings in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and frankly every state in America at this point. As they shared how they felt,  I found myself weeping with their pain.

I guess I was fulfilling Romans 12:15:

Weep with those who weep.

In our world, this means we must weep with African-Americans AND with law enforcement officers.

In our world, this means we must be weeping a lot. Almost unceasingly.

Yet, it’s so easy to get callous toward these events. They’re happening so often, and the rapid fire of shooting tragedies has caused my heart to grow hard.

To move on so quickly. To not really care about those who are hurting. To maybe tweet, “Thoughts for Minnesota” or “Prayers for Dallas.” But most of the time, it means to forget to even pray…

A Time to Do.

I don’t want to be unmoved by death any longer. Death is the most gruesome creature to roam this earth. We cannot quench its appetite nor stop its reach. It stalks unchallenged across our country.

But I want to challenge it. Because my Savior has already challenged and defeated it! And together, His army, the church, can march against these tragedies with the power of His love and grace.

It’s time we stood up. It’s time we did something.

There is a part for Christians to play in tragedies such as these. That part is not to be the loudest screamer on social media calling for one side or the other. It’s not even really to take to the streets.

A Time to Feel.

Let’s face it – we don’t understand what our African-American brothers and sisters are going through. Why wouldn’t they have distrust toward authorities when their grandparents tell them stories of being beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during a peaceful rally! They walk into church to find that they are the only African-American – due to years of supposed “Christians” segregating them out. We can never understand what these people feel when they read of another shooting of an innocent African-American.

My brothers, I do not understand how all this must feel to you. But I want to learn…

Let’s also face this – we don’t understand what our law-enforcement brothers and sisters are going through. After listening to that panel, I listened to another sermon from the Village Church on law enforcement. Again, it made me want to weep. I had no idea what it was like for a police officer to be the first one on the scene of every grisly murder, every rape, and every gut-wrenching tragedy my town has ever faced. And then to have to go home to dinner with his family after seeing such death? We can never understand what these people feel when they read of another shooting of an innocent police officer.

My brothers, I do not understand how all this must feel to you. But I want to learn…

I want to feel – both for the African-American and the police officer. I want to hug them. I want to cry with them. I want to pray with them. I want to be used by God to bring some small measure of healing to their lives.

I’m sorry for being so hard-hearted. For criticizing one or both groups unjustly. I want to learn from you both. I love you.

Your life matters, African-American. Your life matters, police officer. Individually. Christ died for you. You were once far off – as was I. But now we have been brought near by the blood of Christ!

And guess what? The wall that once stood in between us has been broken down! And now, in the body of Christ, I can relate to you. I can feel your pain.

So above all, I think these times are a time to remind ourselves of Ephesians 2:14:

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…

-M@

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2 thoughts on “Your Life Matters

  1. Very good thoughts…I especially like what you say about “sending our prayers” to places and people in need. We often DO forget to actually pray. A very common trend among us is saying we’ll pray for something or that we’re “praying for you” and we often forget to follow through.
    What this world needs more of is peace. Peace and caring for each other. Peace is hard to come by especially when you have selfish people working towards selfish ambitions with irrational and emotional biases.
    Only God will be able to grant the type of peace we need.

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