Your silence is deafening today.
I am not so much admonishing (I have no place to) as I am begging. I am a part of your body and I am for you, Church. I love and accept you, flaws and all, and you have embraced me from the time I walked into your doors as a child. Sure we made each other uncomfortable at times, but that’s just family. You are my family. So today I am asking you to help.
Our brothers and sisters scream injustice. With tears and anger and fear they declare that they are abused and discriminated against and that their burden here in the United States is heavy. And we, North American church….we are silent.
We do not say “Come!! We are for you! We are with you! Our God is love! The One we serve says that you can leave Him your heavy burdens and that He will give you rest! Let us show you how! Let us go with you!”
We are silent.
And let me tell you what our silence means…
- We will ignore our God’s command to mourn with those who mourn if we don’t yet have all the evidence.
- We will not affirm you or your feelings because it might be viewed as anti-police.
- Your burdens don’t qualify because you have a criminal record, because you have a foul mouth, because your son resisted arrest. We aren’t sure you’re entitled to your feelings.
Have we forgotten the Jesus who saved the woman who was about to be stoned to death by her accusers? Have we forgotten that what he DIDN’T say was “Look, you screwed this one up….it would be awkward for me to defend you now…I mean, your character is questionable…”? Have we forgotten that the cross is full on evidence that sometimes society doesn’t get it right? That sometimes we punish in the name of justice when it is in fact anything but? Have we forgotten that we ourselves are saved by grace, deserving to be cast off and forsaken but instead met with love and mercy? How did we get to this place?
North American Church-one day God will sit on His throne of judgement and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. But right now-He sits on a mercy seat, wanting no man to perish.
Are we reflecting that? Or are we just keeping our mouths shut? Worse-are we requiring people to qualify their pain? Are we saying that their pain doesn’t matter if we cannot relate to it?
Can we stop being silent? Can we be a safe place for the weary to come and lay their heavy burdens? Even the weary black woman who lost her son violently? Even the weary police officer unsure of where they stand? Even the weary felon? Even the weary single mother? Even if you disagree with them? Even if they are messy?