“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12
While my heart is full, my mind is numb. I feel the need to say something, to speak into the storm of grief and rage howling through our country. But words seem so small. So empty. Futile. And yet words are all I have, even though as a single voice I am helpless and weak.
I am sickened by the murder of George Floyd and others before him – literally stomach churning, bile in the throat sickened. My heart is crushed by every senseless killing I see in the news, whether of children by abusive parents, first responders ambushed by enraged vigilantes, innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of random shootings, and more and more and more. But the idea of racially provoked homicide falls into the category of especially heinous crime. That someone’s life could be brutally stamped out for no other reason than DNA structure is horrific to me.
As a nation, how can we fail to recognize that racial, ethnic and cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths? The blending of perspectives and ideas from many different backgrounds has enriched our music, art, language, literature, sciences and food, among other things. People of every color have made significant contributions to all academic fields and disciplines. How is it possible that we do not universally celebrate the very diversity that makes American heritage so unique on its worldwide stage?
Hatred divides and weakens us. It has no place in a healthy society. Look at the families racial animosity has destroyed. Look at the tears and blood left in its wake. It seems inconceivable that people who inhabit a country rich in freedom can watch with complacent indifference the stripping of basic human rights from any segment of our population. And yet it continues, generation after generation.
I am one person. I cannot fix the problem of racial discord in our country. All I can do is love, one person at a time. That’s what Jesus did. He looked into the heart of each individual he met and loved him or her for who they were – God’s own child, his precious and unique creation. If I can see others through Christ’s eyes and relate to them as his voice, hands, and feet, perhaps it will speak hope into one moment of their lives. And if moment adds to moment, it may impact the small circle of influence I occupy during my lifetime. My tears, compassion and love seem a small gesture in an epidemic of hurt, but to the right heart at the right time, I pray it will sow a seed of reconciliation and peace.