Oh when is this going to end? I had a hunch in my spirit that 2020 would not be as great as some prophesied, but I honestly was not expecting what we are all witnessing today. Pandemic, social distancing, economical unrest, the evil of racism, anger, violence and epic losses. These are all accumulating into a mountain of broken hearts and human mistrust. I can’t wait to say goodbye to 2020, lie down in green pastures and have Him restore my soul beside the still waters.
Unfortunately, it’s only July. Half of 2020 still awaits. So I am asking now like my hero Martin Luther King asked, “Where do we go from here: chaos or community?” He asked that question after achieving great progress through non-violent marches. The Voting Rights Bill of 1965 was the result. When signing the bill, President Johnson declared that, “Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that’s ever been won on any battlefield … today we strike away the last major shackle of … fierce and ancient bonds.” But a year later, the backlash came in Chicago with a “thunder of jeering thousands” amid a riotous rain of rocks, bottles, burning automobiles and Nazi flags, as King recounted in his autobiography.
All the challenges we face point to one address: our hearts! It is easy to contest an unjust law, but more difficult to change the heart. If change doesn’t start from the heart, then legislating a law is like burying a dangerous animal that is still alive.
What our heart finds hard to change or release, are false narratives. False narratives use the force of stories to enter our hearts, but then poison us with untrue assumptions. The other reason it is hard to let go of false narratives, is that they usually come down to us from those we consider our kinsmen.
I speak to all – whites, blacks, Jews, Gentiles, males, females, young and old – we all need to take a hard look at our past and to correct those false narratives. Let’s open a clean page titled “God’s family on earth.” May He help us all!
This honest look may bring us to our knees. It may cause us to see others in a new light. It may cause us to repent, but mostly I pray it will turn us to the heart of the Father. There we will hear afresh ancient instructions, with a renewed heart. “He has shown you, O man, what is good … what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
We also need to speak up. In the midst of injustice, silence only makes things worse. It happened when the Nazis began plotting their mass cleansing of Jews. So will it be in our day if we sit in our comfortable armchair of indifference and remain silent. I believe we should sound a clear trumpet call. Let’s speak against bigotry and violence, proclaiming the sacredness of all humans as bearers of the image of God.