I watched the images and words on Facebook and Twitter. I want to make sure that the message is not lost. Some people may just see the amount of arrests, or the fact that people were protesting, or they were marching. None of it covers the images of clergy laying hands on and praying for the police. None of them show or reveal the heart of calling people to repent of the systems that keep racism in place in our country. A lot have even forgotten what started all this is the shooting of an unarmed, black youth Mike Brown.
We have a strong tradition of people calling others to repent. We have examples from the prophets and John the Baptist. These people were not popular with the religious establishment or the governments of their time. We seem to somehow forget that fact. We can gloss over our scriptures and think because we quote from them or know a certain story that the characters and people are then blameless in the eyes of everyone because this now the mainstream message.
We forget that Elijah hung out in the hill country afraid for his life. Jeremiah was right in the middle of it all, a thorn in the side of all the people until he was publically abused and killed. John the Baptist hung out in the wilderness with a fringe community and died because of his commentary on the morals of a certain king. All these stood up and spoke truth that was unpopular, that cost them their friends, their family, their very lives.
As we speak up in peace, in love, and with kindness may we remember that our message may not be popular. Our true message may even be ignored because it doesn't make sense in a world of absolutes. Let us each take to heart the call to repentance and recognize racism or any ism and the results we all reap in our own neighborhoods. May we continue to be peaceful and pray for others in love. Continuing to educate about the negative effects of prejudice in our world and that true healing only begins when we name the truth.