This morning I am mourning the death of George Floyd. No, I didn’t know him, but he represents the ugly monster of racism that lurks in the shadows around us. Don’t worry this will be gentle post, I’m not going to rant and rave. I’m writing from a mother’s heart, from a perspective that knows gentleness opens hearts. Please recognize that gentleness, like the whole of the fruit of the Sprit, comes from a place of strength. Grief weakens me but, in my weakness, I will allow the Holy Spirit to be strong.
At nine years old, I didn’t understand why we were moving. I loved our two-story home set in the middle of neighborhood block in Flint, Michigan. Heartsick, my parents determined it was time to leave their beloved city. Crime increased around us, they were concerned for the safety of their five daughters, so we packed up and moved out.
For me it felt like a lighthearted adventure. Our new home’s backyard sloped own to a swampy field that then merged with the woods. A nature lover, it was a dream come true. Timid, it took me a while to adjust to the new school, but I did. It was a beautiful setting for a wonderful childhood.
My husband, like myself grew up in the country and we both wanted to give our children a similar childhood. We live in a small town, mostly white, insulated from the conflicts that our city neighbors face daily. Our children are grown, my son moved to Minneapolis in the fall for graduate school at the University of Minnesota. He now lives a short distance from where Mr. Floyd was killed. I can’t hide from racism anymore. It reared its ugly head near my family, I can’t pretend it isn’t real.
Take some time to read Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan. It is time to stop passing by and looking the other way. I will stop and bind the wounds of my neighbors. I may not feel like I’m part of the problem, but my choices haven’t made me part of the solution either.
So, what do we do? First, we pray but not just to pray over the situation but for prayer to empower us to action. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Where do you need to go to show your neighbor of color love? Jesus commanded us to love God and love our neighbor. Love takes action and He gave us His Spirt to move in that direction. Second, act on what He is telling you to do. I will continue to work with Micah 6 Community in Pontiac, my work there seems insignificant compared to the magnitude of the problem, but it is one small positive thing I can do. What nonprofit can you give your time and money to that will put a nail in the coffin of racism? Third, find businesses that are minority owned and frequent them. Your support empowers small businesses to grow especially in times of economic stress.
Lament with our neighbors over all the losses and a painful history. What I am suggesting is not enough but it is a beginning. I invite you to join me on this journey. I don’t know all the next steps, but I know I have to do something. I hope you will join me.