Friday, August 18, 2017

Reflections on Charlottesville

Needless to say, our nation is in turmoil. We are polarized on just about every issue. And, we were reminded last weekend of just how much work there is left to do in our society. Hatred, vitriol, violence and racism were all on display on the streets of Charlottesville for all the world to see. It was truly a sad spectacle to behold.

I grew up in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Era. I remember “coloreds only” and “whites only” signs in public places. I also remember the ease in which those practices were enforced. I remember the “comfortable” separation of races and the belief that it was just supposed to be that way.

I also remember the darkness of racism and just how toxic it could become. Watching the expressions of hatred and violence last weekend brought back old memories of a bygone era in my life. I remember hearing racist taunts and witnessing expressions of racism at school and in my neighborhood. I was deeply saddened to see it raise its head  again in such a dramatic and public fashion.

But, let’s be honest—racism is felt in all of our cities. Charlottesville is not alone. It may not be as violent and as public—but it is there. It is evidence of the depravity of the human heart. The darkness of racist convictions is never far from abusive and corrupt behavior. The fire of racist ideology lurks in the shadows of neighborhoods and schools across America.

As Christians, we have to stand against it. Every. Single. Time. From. Now. On.

For those of us not in Charlottesville, it is easy to condemn racism and violence from afar. It is much harder to combat it our own communities. It is even more difficult to battle it in our own hearts.

May God grant His people the wisdom and grace to overcome hatred and evil. May we be true harbingers of hope and purveyors of peace in our communities. May God give us grace to be victorious over sin in our hearts first and then to be examples of God’s redemptive work in our schools and neighborhoods. Now is the time for God’s children to act like His children.

I am praying for healing in this nation. I am praying for all of us to be true examples of God’s redemptive work. I am praying for leaders to stand strong in the face of such evil. I am praying for God’s people to reflect His glory and light across our land. I am praying for the love of God to be on display through the lives of those of us who have benefited so greatly from it.

May God have mercy on our land.