I was sickened this week as videos of men being shot by peace officers filled the internet. It was terrible. I was heartbroken, Judi and I prayed for the victims and their families. We prayed for police that have such difficult and demanding jobs. We prayed for little children that lost their dad. We were stunned. Then tonight, warfare broke out in the streets of Dallas as many police officers were tragically shot – some killed, many injured.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we cannot be silent, we must not be unaware – this is our reality. This is our season.
Some would contend that racism has grown in America. I don’t think so. I believe that what we’re seeing is the exposure of our true character.
From the slivering cracks of a culture that embraces self-worship we have begun to feel the shaking of racism/intolerance/anger that has always been present…just under the surface. Like a tectonic plate that has broken loose. In fact, our millennial culture is much more tuned in to racial understanding, social justice than any other generation. But…
Pressure magnifies. Pressure reveals the true heart. What a man really is – is who he becomes under pressure. In the midst of crisis, his heart is revealed. Our mask has been taken off. The constraints that held us together have been ripped from their standards. A culture that has turned from God, has stumbled into Sodom.
Then, like a rumbling in the distance, the dynamic tension and mounting pressures of philosophical differences began to reveal the true hearts of men. From the disrespect public officials began to pour on each other to the selfish indulgences of Wall St. to the shouting of lunatics in an online world – we’ve seemingly lost our way. Intolerance has arrived with a crash as tolerance lost its footing…the expected result of a “God is a private thing” cultural shift. Mutual respect has been lost. Law has killed love. Brother has abandoned brother.
There really is only one answer. Jesus. In the hearts of men. On every street, in every heart. People that choose to decide that love will win, whatever the cost. We followers of Jesus Christ must speak up. We must not be silent. The Word of God must be our centering point. We must love, help, give, comfort, make wrongs right, protect others, love people and be the balm of Gilead to a hurting world. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Violence is immoral as it thrives on hatred rather than love.”
My dad, Ed Cole, stood with black pastors in the 50’s to protest city laws. As a youngster traveling with my family through the South in the early sixties, we turned around and left a restaurant we had arrived at, because it had a sign that excluded “coloreds”. My dad simply said, “If they’re not welcome, then we’re not welcome.” That’s how I grew up…it’s my paradigm. That’s how I was mentored in following Christ.
Christ was crucified. His love paid the price. It is not our job to crucify others, but to love others. Isaiah Chapter 1 gives us a clear path to navigate these problems, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”
My response as a follower of Jesus is clear, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
I love you. I believe in us. I believe in Jesus.