I am saddened by the recent attacks on the police officers in Dallas. I have been praying since I heard the news and my heart is heavy for the city that I once called home. I have also been extremely disturbed by the deaths of young black men that have occurred time and time again. Too many times to count. I am frustrated that we are unable to find a way out of the mess that we’ve gotten ourselves into as a country and upset that the racial divide has turned into a chasm that seems like no bridge can make it across.
I have dear friends that are police officers. Honest and hardworking police officers with an impossible job. A job that has been complicated over time by intense racial relations that have, in some cases, been exacerbated by the reckless actions of a few. They are looked at as racists that abuse their power and I know this is not true of my friends.
I also have friends that have been judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character. Friends that have been profiled because of their race, religion or country of origin. Friends that have been pulled over, not for speeding or expired registration but for being black.
Yesterday a peaceful protest that was meant to draw attention to an epidemic in our nation has been turned into an opportunity for madmen/ or a madman to exploit a situation and hurt and kill innocent people. Now the cause that was being highlighted by good people, has taken a back seat to a crime scene.
I have no easy answers to this problem. I am exhausted by the mental gymnastics that I’ve had to do to figure out what the right course of action is. To walk just the right line so that one side of the argument doesn’t explode at my well intentioned but sometimes inexperienced opinions about racism and law enforcement.
To be clear, I am white and quite honestly, I’ve never experienced being judged by the color of my skin. Sure we can talk about “reverse racism” but I think that is a cheap substitute for the real thing. I’ve never had to worry about being pulled over because I’m white. I’ve never had someone eyeball me in a convenience store to make sure I wasn’t stealing anything or wonder if I have a weapon. I have never felt as though my life or my children’s lives were in danger because of their race.
I simply do not have to worry about someone judging me based on my ethnicity or religion.
I’ve also never had to worry about pulling someone over and wonder if they have a weapon or wish me harm. I’ve never been put in a place where I was responsible for the safety of others and to serve and protect a city that may or may not want my help. A city that might consider me a racist before I even have a conversation with them.
I do not have to worry about the mantle of responsibility for protecting the lives of citizens in our cities.
There are only a few things that I do know and I will stick to them. The only thing that I know to do is to love others unconditionally and to pray fervently. I know that it sounds naive but I really believe that this is the only way to change things and it has to happen personally. Each person must make an individual decision to love and pray. Violence begets violence and hate begets hate. Blaming one another will not accomplish change and only incites the other side of the argument.
Sure, people that commit atrocities have to be held accountable for it and we must strive to make sure that this happens on both sides of the aisle.
Love demands that we fix things that are broken.
Love starts in your heart and mind and then works its way out into every day living. Let’s kick politics out of the argument, the media and agendas that must take a back seat to our love for each other and the world that we live in.
Love seeks understanding. Understanding leads to action. If any of this is to change we have to at least start there.
I am committing myself to prayer and time with God to plead with Him to make changes that only He can make and to use me when He sees fit. I am starting a journey toward understanding and action. Please join me in doing the same.
“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:18-19