This past week has been heartbreaking as we have seen the continued senseless loss of life play-out across national airwaves.
In times of tragedy we can respond with anger or apathy, we can feel overwhelmed or emboldened, we can move towards a common understanding or retrench towards ideological positions.
On Friday morning, a meeting with leaders of two neighborhood social service agencies turned to the topic of the shootings which had touched each of our hearts.
As a father of two sons, I was utterly saddened to hear from my respected peer how she has had to address each of her sons and identify the ways that they may be misinterpreted in an encounter with law enforcement. Her concerns of them not coming home at night aren’t from a traffic accident but from a traffic stop, simply because her sons are a different color than mine. It is a reality in her and other families’ lives across our country, it is a reality that I can never fully appreciate as a white man, but it is an opportunity.
As people of faith, we can all recognize the inherent worth of every life created by God. As people of faith, we can all recognize that there are incredible men and women who enlist to serve and protect us as public officers. As people of faith, we can all recognize that a continued pattern of lost black men’s lives in encounters with law enforcement does not reflect the standard of justice and equality we aspire to. As people of faith, we can all recognize that responding to injustice with violence will only further division and lead to more senseless waste of life.
So what can we do?
I was once told that we can dig a well while we pray for rain. We can take on personal accountability, while advocating for larger change and importantly asking God to intercede on behalf of our nation.
At CityLink, we have a beautiful cross-section of our community coming together across socio-economic and racial divides. These relationships can start to bridge chasms of misunderstanding and lack of awareness about the situations of neighbors who live only minutes from us but whose life experiences are miles apart. Through relationship we can learn how to act as a community, love our neighbors, and act from love.
The first commandment is to love God. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Join us in praying for our nation, our city, and our neighbors.