The last few nights my 4-year old daughter has woken up around 4am to go to the bathroom. Lucky me! I get out of bed, groggy, ready to get back under the covers. After putting my daughter back to bed, I try to get myself back to sleep, but can't. For the last several mornings, I have wrestled with what is going on in our world. I have laid in bed wondering, what should I say? What should I do? How can I help? How can my voice help make a difference? I have prayed and then prayed some more.
To be honest, there are a lot of great thoughts out there and I don't want to just add to the noise. I teach my kids, students and other leaders to respond and not to react. I teach them to weigh out decisions and to count the cost of the action. Whatever I say or do, I want to be proud of ten years from now. I want my kids to look at me and be proud of the man that I am and the one I am becoming.
Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything. A time to be silent and a time to speak. I have pondered things in my heart and now believe it is time to speak up. I don't think we always need to have the perfect thing to say for each situation that we face, but I do believe we always need to be wrestling for the right thing to say. What I say here may not be perfect and will likely have flaws. I am flawed for I am human. But I am willing to have a conversation. I am willing to listen. I am willing to look and not turn away. I am willing. I want to listen. I want to learn. I want to love.
Black lives make a difference.
I am white. I didn't have a choice in this matter and neither did anyone else from any other race or ethnicity. We tend to judge like this was up to us somehow. It wasn't.
Racism is wrong. It is being magnified in our culture now. I believe that this is the case so we can see it more clearly and fix it.
Sometimes things need to get messy before they can get better. My wife Amond has several Rubik's cubes. My brother-in-law showed her how to solve them a few years ago. Every once in a while she will get one out and solve it. She doesn't want to forget the steps and the order. As I watch, I am fascinated by the process. As she gets close to solving it, there is a moment where the cube seems perfect. With the exception of one or two squares, it looks finished and complete. Then she does the unthinkable: she messes it up! Before the cube can actually be perfect, it has to be moved, turned and twisted. In reality, it is closer to perfect when it looks a mess, than when it looks almost complete.
This is our world. Broken, hurting, lost and hopeless. For many years it looked "complete." Similar to being a kid and having your mom tell you to clean your room. You put things anywhere you can as fast as you can! You've seen it played out before. Your mom walks into the room to check on things and heads over to the closet. You try to stop her from opening the door, but it's too late. Toys and games come crashing down. The room had the appearance of being clean but in reality it wasn't. As is the Rubiks cube. As is our nation.
We can't hide from reality any longer. It is being recorded for all to see. It is time to speak, but please wrestle with your motives before you speak. It is time to act, but please wrestle with your motives before you act. We are to represent Christ in all that we do. This isn't about making a name. This isn't about politics. This is about sharing Christ to a broken world. This is about righting wrongs. This is about coming together in Unity.
We should strive to be bridges in this world. To bring together rather than tear apart. There should be an understanding of each person, each side and each situation. Unity doesn't mean mean agreement on everything. The word that the dictionary continually references when defining unity is 'whole.' It even goes as far as to reference it as a 'complex whole.' We are created in the image of God and said to be the body of Christ. We have to have differences for this body to make sense and to operate in the way it was designed. A bridge must be built so that we can be whole. Let's build a bridge! It likely starts with an apology, so let me say:
If I have ever offended anyone of color for any reason, I am sorry
If I have not listened or refused to learn, I am sorry.
To those who have lost loved ones unjustly, I am sorry.
If my lens gets in the way, I am sorry.
My heart is to see everything through the lens of the gospel. The gospel is Jesus. Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. Together, let's pray, seek and desire a change. Together, let's work through differences to bring true unity to this nation. Together, let's realize that things might need to get messy before they can get better. Let's believe and pray that all of this is working together for something beautiful on the other side.