Over the weekend just gone a young white man travelled hundreds of miles to go on a killing spree in a predominantly black neighbourhood, live screening the event on social media. A report from the BBC is shown below.
Whilst this event took place in America it has been widely reported and has once again had an impact in our communities. Such events can not and should not be ignored. My prayer is that they might be a catalyst for healthy and lasting change, my fear is that they will create a growing spiral of division, anger, hatred, and fear. We need to keep praying but I also think that prayer needs to be accompanied by action. This blog is a small action on my part!
As Christians we need to offer an alternative to the world’s response. We believe in a God who overcame evil by triumphing over it on the cross. I believe that ultimately evil always overreaches itself, as is shown by the cross and resurrection. We believe in a God who calls us to be reconcilers. We therefore need to be active in speaking out against injustice, we need to be active in working towards reconciliation. We need to hate what is evil and rejoice with the truth.
As a white Christian I can only listen to the pain this event has again caused to my black and brown brothers and sisters. Hear the fear, anger and hopelessness that once again has surfaced. How could it have happened yet again? I can listen though. I can also encourage my friends to share those feelings with God, to join them in lament, join them in asking God, how long O Lord? How can you allow these injustices to continue? To recognise that things are not how God intended them to be, and long for his kingdom to come.
I can also encourage them to hate evil but not to allow that to spill over into bitterness. To plead for them to not believe the worst of all white people. To encourage everyone that there are alternatives to either trying to not think about such events because of the pain they cause, or to be overwhelmed with despair. I can also speak out against the injustice and challenge other white people with influence to do so too.
The events of the weekend need to be a catalyst for more conversations between people from different racial backgrounds, strengthening friendship and understanding of each other.
We need to have faith that events meant for evil can be used for good. We can be part of that.
Let us not hide from such events but talk about them. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk to me about them, I am always happy to listen.