Like most of you, my heart is heavy today. I see the violence in our country, and it’s even reached the streets I call home. I see prejudice and hatred alive and well. I see tension building to a crescendo. Bad news fills the airways and social media. And all this comes at a time when people were already feeling nervous and anxious from the pandemic and economic crisis so many are facing. It’s the perfect storm for unrest to rise up in. So what do we do with all this emotion? How do we cope? Where do we turn?
This morning in my quiet time, I felt led to turn towards the African-American friends in my contact list with the simple sentiment, I’m sorry and I love you. I join you in praying for healing for our nation. I felt prompted to pray for the members of law enforcement (including my son) who serve and protect us with honor and respect. I felt led to turn towards His Word which tells us that God’s salvation is for EVERYONE:
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13 (NIV)
God’s love celebrates the beauty found in our differences. Every race and every color were intentional in the hand of our Creative Creator. In His eyes, we are all equally loved and adored. Oh, that we could only see each other with a fraction of that same kind of affection! I believe God is calling us to turn towards love in this moment. Love listens to the cries of the broken and the marginalized. It takes the time to stop and consider how others feel. Love puts the needs of others before themselves. Love heals. I also felt convicted to turn towards the sin in my own heart. I have fought against prejudice and racism my whole life. I have always been the one who stands up for the underdog. I have always hated bullies. I have always espoused the value of love. Yet as I took a deeper look inside my own heart, the Spirit revealed seeds of racism I didn’t realize existed. Those times when I judged a situation simply because of how someone looked. Those times when I put people in a box. Those ugly places that are difficult to look at in ourselves. After all of this reflection, I am left with this conclusion: Every single one of us has a choice to make right now, a very important choice. We can either turn towards hate or turn towards love. We can choose to point fingers, or we can choose to point up! As believers, our greatest commandment is to love, to point others to Christ. We can do that by showing compassion for everyone. Our words have the power to turn others towards the hope we have in Christ or turn them away. Our words and actions can demonstrate our belief that God is the great Healer, and He is the only one who can heal our country right now. I challenge you to dig deep and ask the Holy Spirit to eradicate the hate and prejudice that might be buried deep in your own heart. I pray that we all choose our words wisely.
And most of all I challenge you,
choose to turn towards love!
Hugs and love, Jill