As we watch the different chaotic events unfold around the world I am reminded that we must not lose sight of the human factor. Men and women, young and old, regardless of the colour of their skin, all are suffering in these unprecedented times.
Thank God the Good News is for everyone. Without a doubt we can say that everyone is welcome, no-one is excluded. Jesus, with clear and purposeful intent, declared that heaven would be populated with people from every nation.
Your blood was the price paid to redeem us. You purchased us to bring us to God out of every tribe, language, people group, and nation. Revelation 5:9 (TPT)
Therefore, as a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ I do not make a distinction based on colour. A person’s colour is important and must not be discounted. I grew up in a multi-race environment. It was always simple us, no distinctions were made. Whoever it is, I see another human person, someone of immeasurable value and worth created in the image of God; each one unique, and every person valued for who they are regardless of their colour. Racism and discrimination in any form is abhorrent and should never be part of a true Christian community. I choose not to be biased or prejudiced simply because a person is different from me.
We celebrate the glorious diversity of all the nations and each person is valued for who they are regardless of their colour.
Injustice has to be addressed. We should not step back. Instead we must seek wisdom, be compassionate while at the same time we must not allow our cause and passion to create further division by setting one against another, because every life matters.
Contemplating how I would further address the current worldwide crisis, and in particular the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign I became excited when reading this excellent article by my daughter Michelle. In this she expresses her thoughts and concerns far better than I could have imagined doing it myself. Robin J Johnson
Michelle Ferguson (June 20)
There has been a couple of events that have occurred in my neighbourhood over the past week that have seen an innocent teenage boy stabbed to death by a group of youths, a young girl terrifyingly harassed and assaulted by others and these are just ones we are made aware of, which reinforces to me what I have been feeling for a few weeks but have felt unable to share.
Largely due to the fact that I don’t want to be seen as insensitive or naive, uncaring or even racist. The murder of George Floyd and the many other people of colour is a crime, a terrible injustice and a devastation.
But I believe this is not only about black versus white, or white supremacy or even racism, though this is absolutely part of it.
It is true this divide and injustice exists in some areas of our society more than others, there is no doubt about that. But I believe it is more to do with the root cause which is the fallen and frailty of the human heart. It is about right and wrong.
Hate and injustice exists in the husband who beats his wife to death and in the one who is meant to love and protect the child of their flesh but instead abuses and harms or even kills.
In the man who sets fire to his wife and children while they sit in their car.
In modern day slavery and human trafficking of over 40 million innocent people alive today.
In the tens of thousands of child soldiers in Uganda and other parts of Africa.
In the injustices and inequality for our own first people past and present.
In the war crimes and killing of millions of innocent people in the Middle East.
In those seeking refugee and asylum from war and indescribable living conditions.
In school yards everyday where kids are teased and deeply hurt by the words and actions of their peers for the colour of their skin, the colour of their hair, the clothes they wear, the way the talk, In the scars on their face or the disability they live with.
Cyber bullying that leads to a beautiful teenage girl committing suicide and she is not alone.
To the women who don’t make it home at night because they walked alone from their cars.
In the hurtful and discriminatory attitudes and actions towards anyone of another nationality.
And in so many more ways too many to mention.
So yes, black lives absolutely matter and the attitudes, opportunities, inequality, injustices need to be passionately voiced and drastic change needs to take place.
But it can’t be limited to this. Let’s start here but I believe we need to be fully aware and awake to the injustices against all humankind. God’s heart breaks for every single individual; each are his precious creation, each are his beloved.
I know people will question; if your God exists, if he really loves people, if he really loves me, then why does he allow these things to happen? Well, I ask; why do we allow these things to happen, when will we speak up, stand up for each other, for our friend, for our neighbour, for our colleague, for the stranger? When will we be moved with such compassion that it results in action and not just a post or even worse, silence and apathy?
We live in a world that is broken, full of broken, hurting people.
Could it be that the answer is love?
If we truly showed love to everyone, to the best of our ability, people would be different, the world we live in would be different.
So love and be kind.
I hope you hear my heart, and if you know me, you know that with my utmost desire, I would never intentionally treat you or anyone differently to anyone else. Regardless of the colour of your skin or the language you speak or the views you hold, or your race, religion or creed.
I will also be the first to put my hand up to say I am far from perfect, I get it wrong, I make mistakes, a lot.
I react too quickly, I get frustrated at my husband, I get annoyed too easily at my kids, I take offence when I shouldn’t, I lack compassion and can be selfish. I don’t always think positive or look for the good.
But I am learning about grace. Grace to try again, grace to begin again, grace to say sorry again, grace to love again, to see things differently, to learn and start over.
This is not about religion or politics, it is about how we treat each other as human beings. Each with our own ideas and opinions, likes and dislikes, failings and successes, backgrounds and dreams.
If enough of us move toward love, there would be enough momentum to cause a shift, to see change, not just for one people group, but for all.
We cannot fully love if we have not experienced and accepted the full, abundant, overwhelming, unconditional love of the one who is love. The only one who truly accepts you as you are and has a plan and purpose for your life.
Holy spirit we need you to move like never before. Break open hearts to heal the broken hearted. May people experience and receive your love so they can love fully and live fully.
Only you can do what is really needed.
But may we be used as your imperfect vessels to help reveal your love and your true nature to a hurting, dying, desperate world.