I have been quite silent about all that has happened in our nation in the past week for a couple of reasons:
1- I don’t know what to say/think/feel
2- I didn’t want it to be a fad or to seem as if I was “jumping on the bandwagon”.
Yet, as I laid awake every middle of the night this week praying and reflecting, I am convicted that my silence speaks louder than anything else I could say. I simply cannot let slide that my African American friends/brothers are being denied their humanity. I don’t claim to understand fully or even well the depth of pain that is being experienced… but I want to be willing to listen, to grieve, and to stand up to the systemic injustice that this community is facing everyday.
As I look throughout Scripture, God’s qualms with his people is that as they abandoned Him for idols, they also abandoned taking care of those on the fringe, those who are oppressed, those who were lowly in society. In the words of Micah 6:8 ESV,
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
and to walk humbly with your God?”
As believers, I believe we are called to speak out against injustice, to not turn a blind eye to it. Mr. George Floyd was not and will not be the last African American man to be killed at the hands of our system. Yes, we are called to submit to the authority that God has placed over us and we are also called to be people of justice. Yes, looting and rioting are happening and, yet, not all people are looting and rioting. Yes, looting and rioting are not necessarily going to solve the problems, and, yet, peaceful protest hasn’t solved anything either. I hope by now you are getting the sense that we live in tension. Not everything is an easy black/white. Yes, and yet. As believers in the “already and not yet”, we live our whole lives in tension. We have to acknowledge this and recognize that while not all cops are racist, there are cops who are. We cannot simply excuse away the bad because there is good. We have to hold good and bad in tension with one another. We have to acknowledge and recognize there is both.
In a nation as divided as ours, we don’t need more opinions at this moment. We need more Jesus – His compassion, His mercy, His perfect justice (not our own twisted sense of it), His willingness to engage with those who are hurt and those who are oppressed (see Jesus’ treatment of the lame, the lepers, the women).
Parents, we have the hard job of engaging our teenagers in this conversation. They are hurting. They are confused. They don’t know what to think or how to think about this. They need our help. Please, I beg you to open up the dialogue and listen to your children. Please do not seek to correct them right now, but seek to understand. Please be present in the conversation with your teenagers. They need us to recognize the injustice that started all of this. They need us to voice the injustice. They need us to lead in learning, in dialoguing, in willing to grieve injustice, etc. Here are a few articles that I have been reading to help me think through the issues:
1– I don’t have the luxury of ignoring racism anymore
2– An Asian-American Guide to Dismantling Anti-Blackness
3– Jesus is not your American Patriot
4– Biblical righteousness is a four-paned window
5– The FAQs: What Christians should know about Antifa
A movie that streaming sites are making free for the month of June to help educate people about the whole civil rights movement is called, “Just Mercy”. It is rated PG-13. https://www.justmercyfilm.com
As I read more, I will update this page here, under “For the Parents” tab: http://dcbcsite.org/youth/parents/racial-reconciliation/