The weeks after the death of the 5 police officers in Dallas I tried to write about race in this country. It is obviously a very emotional and highly sensitive issue for everyone. In fact, I wrote a really long blog post but never sent it. I never felt quite right about it. I know for me I had a lot to process and to work through my own feelings. I had confusion and hopelessness at times like many of you. I have sought my heart in this as much as I possibly can, but there is still much work to be done in me and I know in all of us. It is not some easy fix. I have talked to numerous Christians, black and white, who obviously just have not worked it out. Truth is, it is going to take time.
Here is the advice I can give, and it sounds almost too simplistic. It will sound so simplistic that many of you will just want to stop reading and just say, “heard this before.” But the truth is, it is probably the most productive thing we can do and not only that, I bet many of you are yearning for a freedom from what I am about to bring up. Here is my advice: Turn off your TV, your social media, etc… Stop listening to “talking heads”, media drama, and political stances. Stop looking for answers from the world and go to God about it. Sounds simple I know, but in the midst of the millions of conversations and opinions about it, God still created this world and us and He will always be the answer. If we get caught up in the world for answers, then we are going to be sorely disappointed and will most likely end up angry, bitter, and more divided. I know I did. I had some idea that if I could listen to people’s opinions, then I could somehow form my own opinion based on all that I had heard. Wrong move. I ended up more confused and honestly feeling hopeless about it all. Anyone else feel that way? It literally consumed my whole world for a few weeks. I thought I was doing the right thing because I needed to know where to stand and what to stand behind, but it ended up leaving me empty.
Then I finally got something right. My wife and I got together with some friends of ours who are black. We contacted each other and just had the idea to listen to each other. They came over for dinner and then after we prayed together, we agreed to be free to share anything, and whatever was said we would love each other and forgive each other. We confessed to them our issues and they confessed theirs. We listened to each others stories and learned so much from each other and about the issue of race in general. It was actually one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. Just to be free and talk openly with another race about all of our stories, experiences, fears, and prejudices. We honestly didn’t want to stop talking! It just opened up a world of freedom, honesty and love. We finally ended around midnight and left each other with an excitement of our new found friendship.
Doing it God’s way is always going to be the answer. The answer will always be to love the person in front you. The answer will always be to forgive. The answer will always be to listen to each other. The answer will always be acknowledgement on both sides that we all have sin and prejudice in our hearts to some degree. Choose to love, learn, and forgive and you will start to see amazing things happen.