What do we do now?

It’s amazing what a week can do. Last week, all anyone could talk about was the coronavirus. People were arguing about the importance of wearing masks or the futility of it. There were disputes about businesses opening up unlawfully, and those that were opening, owners were either warned of an impending arrest, or getting their licenses pulled, or they were getting slapped with very expensive fines. Some churches were threatened with fines for having the audacity of opening up their doors to worship, even having their parking lots blocked.

But this week, our country is being further divided by race. It is heartbreaking. Many whites expressing heartfelt guilt for the impertinence of being white. Many blacks feeling as if they can’t leave their homes to go for a walk for fear that they’ll be targeted for the crime of being black. What happened with George Floyd was horrific. I personally couldn’t even fully watch the video. Thankfully the incident has been universally condemned, but still, the riots happened. Angry words. Pent up anger. Violence on display more often than not.

Now let me share something with everyone. I guess you could say I’m somewhere in the middle of the “intersectionality” spectrum that is so popular to talk about these days. I am Puerto Rican (100% Boriqua, baby). Born on the island, raised in the States. I know a thing or two about racism. I’ve sadly experienced it here and there throughout my life. Anything from the largeness of my hair to the assumption I got into a good college based on my race (and gender) rather than the accomplishments on my transcripts. But as I’ve gotten older, you know what else I’ve realized? I’m not alone. There is racism everywhere. Within my own race. Within White/Caucasian communities. Within Black/African communities. Within Asian communities. LORD help us, it’s EVERYWHERE. I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard it called by another name at times as well: AKA, sin.

It’s not as if we shouldn’t speak out about the wrongs of racism, but as Believers, where should our focus be? Should we continue to go along with the narrative of “us” and “them” even if well-intentioned? Where is our identity? Does it primarily belong to Christ or to Christ plus something else. As in, I’m a Hispanic Christian. Or I’m a female Christian. Or I’m a big family Christian. Where does our primary allegiance lie? Because last time I checked, the LORD doesn’t share His glory with anyone or anything (Isa 42:8).

Unbelievably, I’ve seen some in the Christian community essentially rationalize the chaos that is happening in many of the big cities across the United States (just for clarification, I realize not all of the protests are chaotic riots. Some have been beautiful displays of hope, and I am so thankful for those participants who walk in peace!). But honestly, how effective are the riots going to be at the end of the day in solving the issue of race? What problem is it solving? What answer is it seeking? What’s even the question? The LORD is not a god of chaos and confusion (1 Cor 14:33), but there is a ridiculous amount of both going on right now which is very indicative of where this is coming from.

I would think if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, he would be sobbing at the chaos. Communities are being torn apart, and the ones that will be most affected are the people that are part of those same communities. It makes no sense. More importantly, the King of Kings looks down from His throne at us, and I’m sure He is filled with such pain and sorrow. What are we doing?

When we live by the Word of God and obey what it says, you know what? Our gender, our accents, our hair color, our hometown, our nationality, our “fill-in-the-blank” will NOT matter. The LORD calls us to “treat others as more important than ourselves” (Phil 2:3). And who exactly are those “others”?? Well, OTHERS!!! Like all of them. Our pain in the butt family. Our strange neighbors. Our crazy co-workers. It doesn’t matter the amount of melanin in their skin. They’re all the “other” and we’re to treat them as better than we would even treat ourselves.

Communities are made up of people. If we expect there to be any kind of change in our communities, people’s hearts need to change. And the only way people’s hearts can change is through the gospel of Jesus Christ (this is insight from my awesome husband!).

LORD help us, Church. We don’t need anything else but Jesus and His Word. More and more and more of it. We can’t fix the past. We can’t change it. What is done, is done. There is blame that is being tossed around every which way, and for what? How does that help NOW? We can’t be held accountable for what’s happened in the past, especially for other people’s choices and consequently, their sin. But what we CAN be held accountable for are the choices we make and what we personally do NOW.

Like my friend from Korea so beautifully said (and I’m paraphrasing), “We can’t control the actions taken against us, but we CAN control our reactions to them.” There will always be sin in all it’s various and ugly forms, including racism. Instead of taking it out on the people around us and seeking revenge, why not take it to the LORD and let Him avenge any wrongs we feel have been done against us? As Believers, we have repented of our sin, and now we walk in the freedom of forgiveness. Can we extend that same grace to those “others”? As I’ve talked about before, forgiveness doesn’t come free. But we should be approaching every situation with an open hand, ready to offer forgiveness to anyone who has offended us, just as the LORD has done for us.

Father God, I pray instead of fists raised in anger and bitterness, we open our hands in humble repentance and offer that same forgiveness to those we feel have sinned against us. I pray that instead of judging people by the color of their skin, or the job that they have, or the wealth they’ve attained, or the power they wield, (or whatever else we may think of) we simply see people through the lens of Scripture as fellow image-bearers.

I also pray that as the Body of Christ, we meet together and pray. We’ve seen the power of people meeting together for destruction. They didn’t meet virtually. They met physically. Church, we need to meet physically and pray for this country to repent and for healing from our great God! If they’re not afraid to be together, why in the world are we?

Father God, forgive us, strengthen us, and help us. I pray that as we move forward, we dig deeper into His Word together as the Body of Christ.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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