|Posted on July 14, 2016 at 12:10 AM|
I had initially resolved to not post anything from me personally about what has transpired in this past week and a half. Mostly because there are many who have already said what's on my heart with a lot more eloquence than you'd read here.
But, today - really yesterday, but it still feels like today -Facebook showed me a memory from 3 years ago. And it hit home.
I was brought back instantly to that moment. I remember sitting on the couch beside my infuriated older sister and we heard the final verdict. I remember her scrolling through twitter, seeing all the allies she had and convincing herself that she was not the only one upset about this.
I remember feeling as if I'd gone through a mental and emotional ice bucket challenge (anyone remember those days when that was a thing?). It was then that I really began to see how little black lives were valued, how demonized and de-humanized we truly were. Or rather, are.
I need a moment. This hurts.
I can't help but think that if I had been raised in the United States, I would feel so afraid for my father's, my brother's, my uncles' lives anytime they'd leave the house. For we share the same skin colour, and the same wounds in our history.
It's when I see on my newsfeed that yet another one has died, that I have three inclinations.
1) ignore it, pretend that it didn't happen and has no effect on my life because facing the ugly truth hurts and the apathy-denial combo helps evade the pain.
2) seek vengeance; my anger and bitterness can blossom into a terrible hatred and a need for "them" to hurt the way we have hurt; because maybe then they will finally understand.
3) break down; descend into depths of sorrow and despair, where I feel like there is no more hope for us; not just us as Black people, but us as in humanity.
This is humanity's problem. When the killing of Black lives because of the colour of their skin is a societal norm, there is an issue that needs to be dealt with. There needs to be change.
And it's in this place, this wrangled mess of emotional brokenness that I am urged to not act upon any of the aforementioned inclinations; but am instead brought to prayer by the Holy Spirit.
In God, there is action.
In God, there is justice.
In God, there is hope.
In God, there is true change. And goodness, is that change not ardently necessary?
It goes more than structural changes to ensure objectivity in the police force. It goes more than justice wrought in a guilty verdict. These things are important and they are indeed necessary, but true change will be had in the transformation of the heart of man.
True change is found in the gospel.
Is anyone right now going to deny that some thing's wrong with humanity? That we are broken? That we are capable of such evil acts because of an inherent evil within? We were not created to be this way.
We were created to be in an intimate relationship with God and glorify Him forever. We were created with dignity in the image of God, the Imago Dei.
And we screwed that up when we sinned, when we disobeyed, when we decided to be our own "god". And look at humanity now, look at us. Look at the poverty, despair, violence and hatred that has come from us. Racism, sexism and other systems of oppression against marginalised group emerge out of our sinful state, out of our lack of recognizing the significance of the Imago Dei.
And yet, God decided that - by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ - He would redeem humanity and reconcile us to Himself so that we could restored into relationship with Him. It is then that we see true change.
The brokenness in our world comes from the sinful state of man's heart, and that is only changed by the power of the Holy Spirit when we come into true relationship with God.
This goes so much deeper than trigger-happy police, subtle prejudice, or white privilege. While all those, are legitimate and active, they are simply the fruit of sin. When we have a different tree, there will be different fruit.
I am not saying all of this to simply put a Christian band-aid on these tragedies. It's okay to be upset and angry and hurt, it's okay to not be happy about what's going on in the world. This is a wound and it hurts. And the cure where it will be finally healed is in Jesus.
I want to encourage you to run into the presence of God for it is by the Holy Spirit we have peace and healing. I want to encourage you to see what you can do to become a part of the change: to pray, to be willing to get uncomfortable in dialogue and deed, and to see the beauty of the gospel in this situation.
And what is this beauty? The fact that my sin of pride is no worse than another's jealousy, prejudice or act of racially-motivated murder. And that the Almighty and perfect God still pursues us and desire relationship with us knowing that.
The following links are two poems that I wrote and recorded that weren't composed specifically for what's happened with the recent shootings, but relate notwithstanding.
- Being a black female and everything that implies.
To Weep and to Worship
- Being an emotional wreck in God's presence.
Until next time,
Categories: Random Roars