Read His Words Before Ours!
“Trust me, I’m not going to hurt you,” I coaxed my little sister. “This is going to be so cool!”
I must have only been around 9 years old, but I remember the conversation well. A boy from my Sunday school class had shown me how to “fake punch” someone, and I was determined to show my sister Annah how it worked. It seemed easy enough, and he and I had “fake punched” each other a bunch of times earlier that day with no problem. “The real trick,” he said, “is to make it look really real. Really put some force behind it.” I nodded; it made perfect sense.
What could go wrong? After all, we had practiced.
I will never forget the look on her face. Trusting…but a little worried. I reeled back, made a fist and thrust my arm forward with exquisite perfection while calculating the exact spot at which to halt my arm’s motion. The grin breaking over my face turned from excitement to abject horror as my fist collided forcefully with her innocent, trusting eye.
The wail that burst from her mouth mirrored how I felt inside; I never meant to hurt her! I couldn’t tell you the punishment I (rightly) received, but I will never forget the sickening feeling that came over me when I realized my mistake had caused her such pain.
All of us can pinpoint a time when we have felt the same at one point or another.
Regret over our actions. Remorse that we have caused another pain. That unforgettable instant when all our good intentions collide with the harsh reality that we were wrong. Loves, there is something else we are getting wrong, too.
As we conclude our Journey through Justice, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the pressing social injustice of racial inequality. Depending on each individual’s circle of influence, the picture being painted regarding this social injustice typically appears very different from one social media newsfeed to the next. Regardless of the news and opinion articles, demonstrations and heartfelt conversations which may or may not cross our field of vision on a daily basis, racial inequality is real and it is happening on our watch.
Those of us in minority groups are hurting.
For real reasons.
People are being abused, ignored and made to feel that their feelings and very selves are not enough.
This isn’t something we can feign ignorance to and brush aside with little or no thought.
How much damage are we doing to the Body of Christ when we pretend these things aren’t happening? Our brothers and sisters are facing turmoil, uncertainty and pain, and most importantly injustice.
In the face of these truths, can each of us claim that we are supporting and reaching out to bridge the gap for those battling the reality of racial inequality every day?
Are we seeing our people and using our gifts to provide a platform for the forgotten and ignored?
Or are we turning our eyes away because we aren’t sure how we can make a difference or we just don’t know where to start?
Thankfully, so thankfully, we follow the One Who knows exactly where to begin – and He tells us to lead with love.
Take a moment to peruse any current news headlines, and you will be left with little doubt that our world is charged with racial tension and injustice. Hurting people respond to other hurting people…with sharp words, actions and attitudes.
Frightened, comfortable people respond to racial injustice
by choosing to ignore truth.
When we face those ugliest parts of humanity, our questions mustn’t revolve around how such things could happen – we already know that answer – sin.
It seeps silently into our good intentions and misconceptions.
Instead, we must decide how we will respond in love.
Will we, in our fear, brush aside the reality we uncover?
Or will we choose to come alongside our hurting brothers and sisters,
pull them in close beside us with words of encouragement and belonging?
Will we acknowledge that we don’t know what to say or what to do or how to do it,
but we will try anyway?
Join us on Monday as we Journey into Palette,
tackle racial injustice, and how we can make a difference!
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