Photo Credit: John Englart, Flickr
What kind of world do we call home where we can actually watch a man die in minutes, in handcuffs, begging to live? George Floyd died May 25, 2020. We hear of such things in other nations – public murders, executions – but to see them in the US awakens us more to the injustice and the utter wrongness of such situations. No wonder there is so much outrage right now. How we respond to that pain and anger matters…moving us either toward needful unity or worsening division.
How do we respond?
1) Protests – In the US, we have the Constitutional right to right to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. There is a way to protest that gives pause; that rivets our attention; that demands a hearing. A protest that doesn’t destroy its very own cities.
Photo Credit: David Sanabria, Flickr
In Richmond, Virginia, friends on the police force see themselves on the streets, during these protests, there to protect the protesters. So they may be heard.
Whatever turns the protests to violent, destruction raids on businesses and neighborhoods makes the loss of George Floyd and others even more painful.
Atlanta is where I was born. Hear from this city’s police chief:
2) Pleading – As a mom myself, I’m so thankful for other moms who use what platforms they have to cry out against the evil in this world and call us together for the sake of our children. So many are doing this right now. We have to put our politics aside. People matter more. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms used her office to plead with her fellow Atlantans to “go home”. Don’t miss her impassioned appeal below.
Now, I don’t believe Senator Susan Collins is a mom but she is a fearless advocate for change, standing her ground for what she believes is right. Here she is speaking from the Senate floor on killing of George Floyd:
The horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was reprehensible. It was beyond a tragedy; it was a crime. Today, I spoke on the Senate floor about the need to join together to ensure that the legacy of George Floyd is of progress, not deepening division and hatred. pic.twitter.com/JQrkzpJeLv
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) June 1, 2020
3) Prayers – The Scripture gives us clear direction in this response to the division in our country right now: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
We need to take God’s call to prayer seriously. He calls us to come to Him. He will listen. He will act.Photo Credit: Needpix
Songwriters Andy and Rachel Graham, on a visit to our own divided city, wrote this beautiful prayer song in response:
Photo Credit: Facebook, We Are That Family, Brick House in the City
“Oh God, help us to listen. To You. To those in so much pain around us. Help us to listen. Our words take up space that needs to go to others right now. Help us to listen, Lord. Right now, we see in the news the chant “Take the knee” as police and protestors confront each other. Heavenly Father, we would all do well to take the knee, in humility, before a just and loving God. Forgive us our sin toward each other. Forgive our sin toward You. Thank You for the life of George Floyd. Have mercy, Lord. We need You now. We’ve always needed You…in Jesus’ name. Amen.”