I have been trying to write this blog post for two weeks and yet, here I am, still struggling with what to say. When I saw the news about Ahmad Arbery being shot by two prejudiced vigilantes, I cringed and was heartbroken. When I saw the video of George Floyd as a policeman kneeled on his neck and indifferently snuffed out his life for the world to see, I was appalled and heartbroken. When I watched as a delivery driver was trying to leave after a delivery and got blocked because of the color of his skin, I cheered him on for videoing the encounter, but was heartbroken because I know that when he finally left and had time to breathe, he probably broke down and cried. And when I watched the video of a white woman screaming and calling for the police when a black birdwatcher asked her to put her dog on a leash (which was required in the park where she was) I was angry and heartbroken. I watched and cried as Archie Williams, who was wrongfully accused, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit, took the stage on America’s Got Talent and gave a whole new meaning on the song, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”
And yet, a part of me feels like I am complicit in these crimes. I know the biases and prejudices that exist against someone who has been born with skin a different color than my white (actually beige with freckles) skin. And yet, I have been largely complacent while seeing deeply imbedded prejudices, and systemic values continue in the conversation about racism.
As a Christian, I am compelled to remember that God cares about justice. I think the black community has been crying out for justice for a long time, and we have ignored their plea. We have allowed the injustices that are meted out to blacks to continue. And we are now seeing the consequences of that indifference and negligence.
Justice. Such a small word with such huge significance in our world today and throughout history. God cares about justice for all and as a Christian, so should I. Yes, there should be justice for those who have vandalized and looted during this time. But God will also mete out judgment on us as we have sat on the sidelines and allowed justice to be bypassed in favor of our prejudices.
It is time. Time for all of us who bear the name of Christians, to cry out for justice for those who are disenfranchised, beaten down by society, and told that they have no value. It is time for us to remember that Christ came to this earth to die for us so that we can live. ALL OF US, no matter what our skin color. It is time to remember that God values justice for all.
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”
Ecclesiastes 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17).
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
More scriptures about justice: Proverbs 24:24-25, Luke 18:1-8, Psalm 106:3, Proverbs 29:7, Leviticus 19:5, Psalm 33:5