Friday, July 8, 2016

THERE ARE NO WORDS




Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Dallas. All within a matter of hours. It’s horrifying.

How can one articulate the anguish of a suffering soul? There are family members and loved ones in utter turmoil tonight all throughout this nation. This time, I cannot go about business as usual.

My heart aches.

My spirit grieves.

There are no words. And yet, I can’t stay silent.

I can’t ignore the injustice in our nation. We live in a world where you have no idea what tragedy you will wake up to. We live in a country where Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated with a day of furniture sales and quotes on social media, yet what he lived and died for is ignored.

I am a white woman, blessed with a beautiful array of friendships of many colors and backgrounds. It’s a glimpse of what heaven will look like and these relationships have shaped who I am today. However, on this side of eternity, harmony is missing and the atmosphere is far from perfection. 

I will not pretend to understand what it feels like to be a black American. Yes, countless loved ones have darker skin than I. But because of the true relationships I have with my black brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers, I would never dare to assume that I know. But I see.

I see the injustice. I see the racism. I see the brutality. I see the struggle.

There are no words. And yet, I can’t stay silent.

Will I ever have the words for what is happening in America right now? For what has been going on for decades? Probably not. I never want to. It’s an atrocity. But I can take a step in the right direction. A step towards reconciliation. A step of love.

When a person posts and acknowledges that #BlackLivesMatter, many shoot an immediate response that 'all lives matter.' Yes, all lives do matter. But Black Lives Matter does not imply by any means that other lives are disregarded. If we took the time to listen before we spoke (or posted on social media), we may understand. If we took the time to have true relationships. If we took the time to love.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

Sometimes the truth hurts. But when it’s in the light, we can deal with it.

If a person you know received a breast cancer diagnosis and wore a pink ribbon to raise awareness, is your immediate response a retaliative "#AllCancerMatters?" Of course not. At least I pray not.

The sad truth is that we live in a nation where, my brother’s black best friend was approached by cops simply because he was parked in our driveway. We live in a nation where my white dad gets passed through a check-point by white cops.

Is every cop racist or corrupt? Absolutely not. Many amazing people who I love dearly are in law enforcement. But the simple fact that a black man fears for his life in a situation where I can walk by in oblivion is disturbing.

It’s disturbing that, almost 50 years after the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., black men and women fear for their lives. And it’s disturbing that, 50 years later, white people still walk by in oblivion. No one should fear for their lives. No one should walk past injustice in oblivion.

"You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” - William Wilberforce

The irony of living in the “United” States of America where the great divide of black and blue has bruised what’s left of our hurting nation and left us with shards of hope...

I am sorrowful. I suffer with those who are suffering. I weep with those who weep. I struggle to pray but the Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

There are no words. And yet, I can’t stay silent.

I look to the Word of God, not for cliche responses, but for Truth. I see men of God like Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, who humbled themselves and cried out to God for their nation. I read how God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. I know Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Healing requires humility.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

In a matter of days, Texas will be my new home. Dallas Theological Seminary is just two miles away from Downtown. The church I’ve felt led to attend for months is just steps away from where the shootings took place. My heart and prayers are already there. I’m brokenhearted.

For months, there has been an ache in my heart for revival in America. After the last several days, I long for it. But this cannot just be an individual cry to the Lord. It must be the cry of the Church corporately. We need revival. We need Jesus. We need God to pour out His Spirit on us and heal our land. His promises are true. I’m bold enough to believe it for Dallas, for this nation. For such a time as this. 

Church of Jesus Christ, I implore you. Be the Church. There is hope and his name is Jesus.

Let’s humble ourselves. Let’s lay entitlement to the side. Let’s resist the urge to justify. Let’s cry out to God. Let's be the light, the love, and the ministers of reconciliation we are called to be.

Repent. Pray. Unite. Support. LOVE.

There are still no words. But there is love. And love is not silent.



Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)



6 comments:

MrsLivvyB said...

Thank you for expressing what my heart is bleeding. This needs to be read by all.

Jennifer Roth said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Liv, and for your constant encouragement. Love you.

Josh Ramos said...

Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel. Love you lady - Lisi

Jennifer Roth said...

Thanks so much, Lis. Love you, too. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Jen, I'm so proud of you. May God continue to bless you abundantly. - Ms. Woodroffe

Jennifer Roth said...

Ms. Woodroffe, What a wonderful surprise to hear from you! Thank you for your kinds words. It means so much coming from you. I pray you are well. God bless you! - Jenn