This post was published the morning of Friday, July 8. A morning I assumed would be normal after a horrifying week. Then I saw the news of yet another story of mourning. Texas. Peaceful protest. Five cops murdered. All husbands. Some fathers. None guilty. At the point of hearing this, I didn’t know what else to do or say. It’s like my heart capsized again. I had thoughts like my husband… “Mourn with those who mourn. But every morning though?” I mourn with those wives and those children. It all is just a reflection of the earth moaning in great expectation of the coming Lord. As details unveiled about the shooter, my heart grew heavier. Hatred and retaliation. I know I cannot hold unbelievers to Biblical standards. Revenge and prejudice combined with lawlessness is theirs. But to us who believe in Christ, even our silent cheers or relieved thoughts are marked as evil before our God. Now more than ever, we must be lights of Christ as whatever race we are and live out loud God’s Word. So as you read my thoughts, know these were written with two black men killed in 48 hours in mind and not as a disregard to police officers. As I know all too well, to speak on the killings of one group and not the other is an offense not just to the Body but more importantly, to God. And to me, His offense with my concern for one group and not the other is what matters most.
In August of 2015, I saw a picture of two elementary/middle grade, African American boys handcuffed in between 2 police officers. It shook me to my core because handcuffs were never meant, in my mind, to fit wrists that small. Having a heart for these particular YOUNG images of God has always been in me. My mother’s the same way; it’s God-carved into our genes. Upon seeing the image, I cried. I prayed. I confronted my anger and my hurt. I loved on my 3 sons more during that time. I dug back into my African American college courses, the hundreds of books my parents made me read, the personal incidents against my father, mother, my husband and even oldest child. I was then confronted by the Truth. The Real Solution. So I prayed more and responded by writing and ministering the spoken word at the bottom of this entry at a poetry event that October 2015. I’ll never forget it.
Now, July of 2016, I am confronted with clear injustices specifically against people of my race and the exposed sin and wickedness of man’s heart. Including mine. I’ve wept and wailed this week in intercession to God as if losing my own son or all 3, my husband or my dad. I screamed and pounded the floor. I soaked my shirt and the carpet with tears. I heard my sons ask daddy, “Why is mommy crying?” This time was different. I don’t know if it was watching Alton Sterling’s murder and then his son break down and cry, “I want my daddy!” during the news brief or watching the blood seep through the white shirt of Philando Castile with his baby girl in the backseat, later trying to console her mommy by telling her she’s right there… even though she saw her daddy do the right thing and still die. My heart felt like an anchor. Heavy. Sinking.
I am a black woman who has a black father. I am a black woman who married a black man, producing three black sons. Honestly, at the view of the news and videos, I was infuriated. Nauseous. Fearful. Full of rage. Mournful. Sorrowful. Humbled. Broken. My flesh was so weak in wanting to hold ill-feelings, but I realized my spirit was willing and needed to rise to God’s standard.
As much as I want to be angry based upon events in society now and past and even in my personal family’s life, I’m obligated as a BELIEVER to “be angry and do not sin” (Psalm 4:4), “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with [my] God” (Micah 6:8). OH and let’s not forget Romans 12!!!
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written,“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Yesterday, honestly, THIS KILLED ME TO DO in my mind and even my facial expressions at the store. For those of you who know me, this is NOT my character at all!! I felt like I was screaming and dying inside. But that is the point. This battle is beyond my flesh and of a spiritual nature bigger than I and all others. Biblical submission to God is to kill the me that I “feel” because I am to be crucified with Christ so I can spiritually LIVE. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
Does obeying God’s Word negate my emotions? No. God created me perfectly WITH emotions. Does my obedience to God’s Word make me passive? Absolutely not. And to those who say I’m punking out to the “white man’s religion”, that historically doesn’t exist or make sense (Future blog post? Most likely). With identifying as a believer AND an African American, I’m ever more obligated to DO and WALK and GO.
So, yes I am an African American (regardless of my hue 🙂 ). I have beautiful brown boys. But most importantly and necessary now more than ever, I am a believer. Some may not agree with my priorities and at times, neither do I. But it’s not about how I feel (despite this ringing message from our culture); it’s about the TRUTH of God’s Word. And it’s THIS Truth I’m praying God give me strength to train my boys to know and apply themselves in the midst of darkness against their dark skin by some in our society (not all). Here on earth, their lives in view of recent activities and just the fallen, broken nature of this world is not promised. However, if they’re trained to know whose they are- God’s sons- and His view and truth about who they are, then this mother has solace that their lives in eternity with Christ IS promised.🙂
Please read my before-mentioned spoken word below, be encouraged then GO tell the Truth.