“God has told you what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
We are watching our nation gripped by forces that seem beyond our control – “a pandemic of racism” as the headline for USA Today read on Monday, rioting, fear and confusion on every level. I have no solutions – but maybe we can start slow and build from there. We can start with friendship with someone of a different color or culture, some meaningful conversation. My current hero is the policeman in Flint, Michigan who in response to the protestors chanting “walk with us,” took off his helmet and put down his stick and walked with the protestors. This is not always possible in our current climate, but what a witness.
Here’s one small incident that opened my youngest daughter’s eyes….
White Privilege! Those were the words yelled at my youngest daughter awhile back – with lots of laughter – by a group of coworkers, all varied races, and ethnicities – in other words, not a whiter shade of pale, like my girl. White what? was her response. And they said it again, White privilege! She looked around, and she was the only one in her group jaywalking on a Washington D.C. street to their destination. She was taking her work team out to a restaurant after work. (Which, by the way, I am going to guess was a bar, but when you have two Presbyterian Ministers as parents you tend to substitute “restaurant” for “bar” in all your conversations!)
With red lights in either direction, she jaywalked to their destination, but none of the rest of her team did. They all walked two long city blocks out of their way to wait for an official crossing light. After they arrived and sat at the table, several African American males told our daughter at length why they don’t jaywalk; and how quickly they get picked up if they do. There are some worlds in this world we know nothing about.
So maybe we start by admitting how much more we need to know; that we need to open our eyes and our hearts. The prophet Micah calls us to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with our God. Justice, after all, is not only for “just us.”
Friends, may we be faithful in prayer, may we find ways to reach out to someone across our country’s color barriers, and may God pour out calming waters of mercy on our boiling nation.
May God’s blessing cover you, your loved ones, our church, and our great nation.