My husband came home last night and asked if I had heard of the riots that were going on in different states around the country. I had intentionally decided to stay away from the news to focus on the tasks that were in front of me. When he shared the synopsis, I turned on the tv to find an active shooter who had targeted, killed and wounded police officers, with a bomb in a parking garage in Dallas, TX. My heart became heavy with a deep sadness. As I watched live as well as recorded video footage, I saw a multi-colored, peaceful protest frantically disbanded into a multi-colored police force protecting their city. This situation was not about color or culture. This was about good in a standoff with evil.
This morning I woke up to find out the latest reports through the news outlets, Periscope, and Facebook. I was intrigued by all of the opinions and prayers I scrolled through on my IPhone. One stood out to me among the rest. It talked about the fear for the safety of a black family. As I read the post, I related on a different level. There was a fear for my family’s safety, but we are white. I realized at that moment, that this wasn’t a battle against color. Our country is fighting a battle against the dark forces of this fallen world.
You see, hate is able to come in all forms; within a police uniform, an american citizen, a teacher, a doctor, a mom with her child, a dad, a cleric, a government official, a neighbor, a family member, an employee, an employer, an organization, you get the picture. I read about the black man being shot in front of his girlfriend and four year old by a white police officer. What a horrific situation. That poor mother and poor child. The damage that was done to their eyes will forever be etched into their memories. But I also read about the white officers who were trying to protect the innocent people who were protesting down the Dallas streets, doing what was right and good, being unrightfully targeted because of their color and killed. The sniper didn’t know who they were, what their stories were, he just chose to be racist back. I thought about their loved ones and how devastating and frightening that must have been for them to learn that the people they held so dear, who went to work everyday to protect their multi-cultural city, were killed in a senseless act of violence. Both stories were unbelievable and unjust.
The focus of reconciliation and healing should be directed towards evil being brought to justice, instead of the color of our skin. Hate is hate. Love is love. The bible says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9. It also says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Let us not judge people for what they look like on the outside. Let us not judge people period. Love comes in all forms too! What we need to do is love our enemies, love the unloveable, pray for justice and peace. What would happen if we fought back with kindness. What would happen if we replaced our fears with faith. What would happen if we looked past our differences and embraced our similarities? Would these horrific stories fade away? Would the news be filled with stories of hope, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control?