My heart is broken. I am sure many of you have a broken heart as well. I know the heart of God is broken as He looks at all this is going on in our country and in this world that He created.
I will just tell you right now that this blog won’t be the most eloquent piece of writing you ever read. I am not an expert in race relations or the topic of racism but the events of these past days is something I need to talk about. I need to talk about it because I need to process not only what I am feeling but what needs to happen as we try to move on as a world and how I need to be a part of that.
I am brokenhearted over the murder of George Floyd. What happened to him was a great evil. My heart is broken for his family. My heart is broken that other officers didn’t stop the arresting officer from keeping his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck. I am saddened that there were people standing taking video instead of taking action. I am saddened that George Floyd is just the latest in a long string of black men who have been similarly treated.
I am brokenhearted to see violence come out of the peaceful protests that need to happen. Looting and setting fire to buildings is evil. I also know that the protests and even the violence is for many an expression of anger. Anger comes from injustice and ultimately it comes from sadness. So while I can’t condone violence and nothing will excuse it, I can see the sadness and the desperation – and my heart breaks.
I am brokenhearted that it has taken me so long to speak out on this subject. Not that it has taken me over a week but that it has taken me a lifetime and because of that I have been a part of the problem. I repent of my silence. I have come to realize that it is not enough to simply not be racist. It will never end until we are anti-racist. It will never end until all of us recognize that we all have a learned bias that causes us to look out for ourselves and fear people who are different. We have to find ways to fight racism within our culture and also to fight it within ourselves. It starts with looking at ourselves. Nothing changes in our hearts until we recognize it as a problem. We don’t work on things we don’t see need fixing.
I read an interesting thought by Max Lucado. He was talking about the slogan “black lives matter.” He said that to combat this phrase by saying “All lives matter” misses the point. It is like seeing someone else’s house on fire and saying “all houses matter.” All houses do matter but yours is not the one on fire. By saying “black lives matter” we are calling attention to the fact that their house is on fire and we need someone, everyone, to come put out that fire. But what can I do? What can we do?
We can be brokenhearted.
When people are hurting they don’t need explanations on why it will get better, or arguments on why they should not feel hurt. They need people to sit with them in their pain, sadness and desperation. In my worst times I have just wanted people to show me they care by being there. I think this is why the peaceful protests are necessary. It is a way to sit in and experience their pain. Their pain is also our pain.
We need to begin to have open and ongoing conversations.
The first conversation needs to be between you and God. We need to ask Him about the true nature of our hearts and we need to be willing to hear the answer. When He points out the sin we need to repent and ask for His healing over our own hearts.
We also need to have conversations with people of a different color. We need to be humble and come with a heart to listen and learn. This is especially true of white people. We have not experienced what black people have experienced for generations. We have not been in their shoes. So don’t rationalize, don’t cover, don’t explain – just listen.
We need to take action.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, I am not an expert. I don’t know exactly what actions need to take place but I think I know where to start. The place to start is to be honest with ourselves before God. Until our hearts change – nothing changes. Next I think it takes actively looking around to see what I can do to affect change in others – by speaking out – by righting wrongs – by loving everyone around me because we are all created in the image of God. How can we not love all that God has created and all that God loves?
One of the greatest tragedies that could happen now is that our hearts would not be broken.