I’m at a loss today.
I’m honestly not really sure what to say, in light of the events of the last few days. My thoughts keep bumping into each other. First, I’m white and have no idea what it’s like to be black. Second, I have a brother-in-law and an uncle I love dearly who both serve and protect their cities as law enforcement officers. And third, I’m embarrassed that I waited until violence hit Dallas, my own backyard, before I said something. True, there is no easy answer here. I have no idea how to contribute something useful to this conversation, and I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said. But I do know one thing. Love heals. God’s love for us is extraordinary, and people who follow Him are ambassadors for this great love. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and so should we be.
I’ll never know what it’s like to be black, and I’ll never know what it’s like to be a police officer. But I know what it’s like to be scared. I have felt isolated, hurt, betrayed, unsafe, and have even feared for my life. Please don’t misunderstand – I am in no way equating my experiences with those of the last week. I’m saying that based on the knowledge and experiences I have had, I know how to pray. I can pray earnestly for people who are afraid, because I have been afraid. I have understood those feelings in different contexts, yes, but I still understand them.
It’s appropriate that I’m going through a bible study in Exodus right now. Last week’s study covered the first two chapters, concluding with God hearing the cries of his suffering people and remembering His covenant with Abraham:
“During those days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel–and God knew.” (Exodus 2:23-25, ESV)
I don’t know what else to do right now besides pray and grieve. But both of those things are powerful. Romans 12:15 commands me to weep with those who weep, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. To quote my friend Ted Harrison, “To my black friends: I do not have the ability to stand in your shoes, but I have the ability to stand next to them.” With the heaviest heart, I’m praying for peace and a rescue from the Father who sees us and KNOWS.