"...On earth as it is in heaven.." something we pray or sing quite often. When I think of Heaven on Earth, I think of restoration, people coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord, miracles like Jesus did, I think of love. Love is a miracle.
When I say love, I'm not referencing the gushy love where you meet someone you would like to spend the rest of your life with but the love that we are admonished to have for one another. The love where we bear with one another. Love's adversary is fear, and fear has caused a severe case of emotional and spiritual inflammation within the USA.
I love history. A part of me would really love to delve into some history but for the sake of time, I'd rather bring our attention to a few things I'd encourage you to think through.
1)How would you like to be remembered in history 50 years from now?
Watching Hidden Figures was amazing. If you haven't seen it, rent it right now.lol The judge scene in Virginia was one of the most intoxicating moments for me because the judge was forced to think about the role he would play in the narrative of Janelle Monae's character. He had the choice to be on her side or to be silent and go about his business as usual. He quickly realized that he could be apart of rewriting history. Which one sounds more appealing? Which option sounds like the heart of God the father?
2) Before making a conclusion, please ask yourself, how many close friends of color (that think politically differently and/or come from a different socioeconomic background) do I have? And if I have those friends, 'how often do I ask to hear their views on what is happening " Am I listening to hear what they have to say or am I listening to see how I will respond?
It is so important to have friends of diverse thinking and backgrounds, not just skin tone. Each person brings light to similar and different ideas that you would have never thought of on your own. When we don't sit in the discomfort of letting someone have a different opinion than us, We take away their voice. We do not want that to happen to us so we must take the extra step to ensure it does not happen to anyone else. My encouragement would be to find 3-5 people you can talk to from 3 different perspectives so that you can think through these things.
Discussion used to encompass the sharing of different opinions. Now it feels like a lost art form. In discussion everyone did not have to feel the same way but it was an opportunity to hear ideas. When you really listen to different ideas you either find your own opinions strengthened and/or you see the flaws within your own thinking. Most of the time, it is both.
3) When is the last time I lamented over someone else's pain?
I think lamenting is very important to the Lord. So important that there is a book in the bible dedicated to it. The word lament means to" wail and to mourn." According to one definition, it meant not only wailing and mourning but to tear out your hair and beat your chest. That is how intense of an emotion was felt. Though lamenting for those who are in pain can get taxing, it is also great because it keeps us balanced and soft hearted. If we feel too much then we take on the world that wasn't meant for us to carry. But there is a celebration that awaits us if we are faithful in the process. Celebration without process reroutes to denial.
4) Who are people/people groups in my community that need to experience justice?
I am currently refraining from sharing more of my views online because I hope to have conversations real time conversations. The best dialogue on this topic will not be found in blogs alone but rather face to face interactions between human beings.
Lets pray for the families of the police officers that lost their lives, the family of the reporter, those that were injured, and the countless others who have experienced emotional inflammation in some way or another. Even those that we each perceive as 'enemies', lets pray that those who claim the name of Christ would hear from him.
Lets ask God, what courageous thing would you like me to do? Maybe that is a call to raise awareness? Maybe that is having the conversation with someone about what life is like as an american that is not white. At some point we must all draw a line in the sand. Wherever your biggest area of influence is, let justice roll through it. I know we can't see the full restoration of heaven on Earth but piece by piece, person by person, we can each play a part in bringing heaven here to Earth. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Let's do our best to engage in challenging conversations in order to push past the temptation to remain silent.
Much love to you all and thank you for taking the time to read