This past week has been brutal.
With the compounding of the fatigue from quarantine regulations, grief of loss during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainty of a second wave and the desire for some kind of contented normalcy, what was already a volatile part of our country has been lit with gasoline and blown into a burning fire of rage.
If you have not been affected by the blatant racism, violence, and the pain of a deeply hurting people… you need to take a long hard look at yourself and your ability to show compassion.
I am a white woman who grew up in a family that emphasized kindness, empathy and equality for all people, yet I understand I also grew up in a community and local church that was predominately white. I have always had friends from different cultures and backgrounds, but I can honestly say that much of these relationships have been based on what we have in common…
In one word: Christ.
I am grateful for that commonality because it is of utmost importance in our lives. However, I have not done well in truly digging deeper into what we do not have in common. What I now understand, and want to continue to learn, is the importance of the foundation of our individual cultural journeys as well as our faith journeys.
I feel it is valuable for me to understand: the differences in the way we were raised, the way we learned and view God – the Trinity – and the effect of community on our perspective, opportunity, and ability to live free.
I have a long, long way to go beyond caring about my friends’ well-being and spiritual walks. I need to do better with opening myself up to help carry the burden of a suffering I cannot comprehend. Even though I would never spew hatred or violently hurt someone because of our differences, I know I have not shown up for others because of my lack of understanding.
This heavy cloud of sorrow and helplessness cannot be ignored or set aside any longer. I pray this weight will motivate me to change. To ask. To learn. To take action.
I pray the same for the Church.
For now, I leave this helpful prompting for prayer based upon scripture. I hope it will give you words to speak as you fall to your knees and pour out your heart to the God who loves all of us and beseeches each of us to love as He loves. To see others as He sees. And to treat others as He does.
“CELEBRATION OF GOD’S ALL-ENCOMPASSING LOVE OF EQUALITY
Acts 17:26, From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Acts 10:34, Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.
Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
RECOGNITION OF THE SINFUL NATURE OF MANKIND AND OUR NEED FOR GOD
Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
1 Peter 1:17, Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
PLEA FOR SELF-EXAMINATION AND CONFESSION
Matthew 12:34, For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
INTERCESSION FOR THOSE WHO LIVE WITH FEAR AND MOURNING
2 Thessalonians 3:3, But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
1 John 4:16, And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
CRY FOR JUSTICE
Psalm 19:17-18, O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.
Psalm 9:16, The Lord is known by his acts of justice.”
// Found on SAConnects’ Facebook page