People keep asking me my thoughts on these past few days. The events of the past few days has brought intense heaviness to my heart. So many innocent people dead, so many families left grieving. So much division, hatred, finger pointing, blaming, and heartache. Generalizations are being thrown around left and right, and the divide widens.

As I was attempting to process everything, a friend of mine came over after the Alton Sterling events. We sat in my driveway late that night throwing a myriad of “whys” to the sky —unified in our brokenness together— praying that this would stop. The following morning, I woke up to learn about the events in Minnesota and Dallas. And as my heart continues to ache, questions continue to surface. How can I have an impact in the unity of others with all of this pain? How can I make sure to teach my kids to be united in love when the reality of our society is that my two younger boys, despite being raised in the same house only seven months apart in age, will encounter many different judgments based only on the differences of their outward appearance? The reality is, there is no complete answer to any of these questions, but to begin today acting in love.

I will admit it; I have been raised with privilege. I have no idea what it feels like to be looked at as if I were going to steal something or attack someone because of the way I look. And yes, although I am privileged, I have had a few life events seared in my head, where I was made very aware of how incredibly different I was in the group… and that “different” didn’t make me special or unique, that “different” made me despised. For those in this world who have those searing events every day of their life, I both commend you for your strength and grieve for the hurt you have endured.

No one deserves to be judged based solely on the way he or she looks, the job they have, or the place they live. Each person is unique, having intrinsic value, not because of what the world says of him or her, but because of their mere existence. Life is a precious gift- and it doesn’t matter if you were planned for, prayed for, hoped for, an “accident,” a “mistake,” or even a result of rape. Each life is a reminder that hope is born every day.

Let hope be born today- let us unite and find value in EVERY life lost. Let us love those who are victims, and let us do the unthinkable and forgive those who killed the innocent.

Eph 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Christ sacrificed his life so that we could have life. He calls us to “pick up our cross and follow him.” And while that is said with ease, it is no easy task to do. Picking up our cross means dying to our own prejudices and choosing ACTIVELY to love. Love is not a passive thing, it is not an accident, and it is cultivated. Let us not stand by weary of doing good. Let us link arms with our brothers and sisters and unite in the love of humanity with the hope to do better and be better.

Posted on July 9, 2016 in Leadership, Racial Reconciliation, Relationships, Unite Church

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