As much as I welcomed last week’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, I realize the road to justice is long, and I may not see the day when justice rolls like a river.
But at least for now I think I can see the beginning of a river as I continue to walk the Road.
In the light of that important verdict I sent a text to a very special friend: A woman of color who has taught me so much over the years. Words failed me, so I simply said “Justice. I love you sister.” Her reply? “Prayed for God’s will and I trusted Him. I love you too.”
I looked at Facebook and saw my more liberal friends celebrating, my more politically driven conservative friends making snarky defensive remarks, my Black friends saying the battle isn’t over and my law enforcement friends trying to assert that a rogue cop doesn’t represent the whole (which is truth by the way).
It’s a rare occasion when I have no words. I look at each group and feel compassion for their particular stories. I try to speak for laying down the weapons of war and actually listening to one another.
Surely at the end of the day, we all want some sort of unity. But I’ve learned that few are even listening. Even at times I find that I do not listen as well. To this I confess and for this I repent.
But hourly, Jesus calls me to work for justice especially when he asks, “Roy, why do you see the speck in the other person’s eye and not the log in your own?”
I’ve been in church since birth, yet I still struggle with Jesus’ most basic teaching, “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.” Despite all the legalities that organized religion has pinned on Jesus, the Gospels still teach that Jesus’ one command is for us to love as he loves.
As a privileged old man, I pray that God will open my eyes to see the ways I still knowingly or unknowingly participate in hate and systemic racism. I go back and forth between the 2 and more often than not embrace both at the expense of my calling to be a follower of Jesus the Christ.
I also pray that God will enlarge my heart to embrace everyone with a Christ-like love, and that God will strengthen my voice to speak truth in love to power. I hope you will be gentle with yourselves and I try to be gentle to myself in the days ahead.