“When the world feels too loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels too violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good. The harder life is the softer we must become.”
If we look at Jesus’s life and ministry, it’s pretty evident that he believed all life had equal value.
But in the Bible we don’t see him standing up for say, the Jewish leaders, or the Romans, or the wealthy. Why? Because those people already had power. They didn’t need anyone to stand up for them.
We do, however, see him stand up for those considered weak within society time and time again… For the poor, at a time when they were cast aside. For women, in a world where a woman’s voice meant nothing. For children, when their rights were nonexistent.
Saying “black lives matter” is something I believe Jesus would have said; he would have stood up against oppression. It isn’t saying that white lives don’t matter too- of course all lives matter!- it’s just that we don’t need anyone to stand up for us because we haven’t been oppressed for our race.
I know that some would deny the existence of this oppression. If that is you, let me ask a question; if there is a chance that there is a race problem in our country, isn’t it worth further consideration? What is it costing you to examine our system and make sure that it is treating all people with equal respect and dignity?
What if it were your spouse, or child, or friend who was pulled over for a traffic violation and never walked away? Wouldn’t you dedicate yourself to making sure that no citizen is killed by a police officer unless they are directly endangering those around them? Wouldn’t you question the police officer who felt the need to end their life on the spot- no judge, jury, or conviction?
And how would you feel if time and time again, people from your community- a community that had been historically oppressed, a community that was not given the right to vote until the latter half of the twentieth century, who continually face stereotypes and limitations due to factors outside their control- kept on dying during routine traffic stops? Wouldn’t you question the system?
As Christians we are commanded to consider the needs of others above our own. As a white woman, this might mean being uncomfortable or uneasy as I help take a good, hard look into society and try to find justice for all. It’s hardly laying down my life. It’s just laying down my privilege and it’s the least I can do.
This isn’t an either-or situation. You can say “black lives matter” while being incredibly grateful to the many ethical police officers in our nation. You can express sorrow over the deaths of officers as you mourn the deaths of black men.
Part of me wants to ignore the world and retreat into my little corner, forgetting all of the violence and heartache this week has brought. But I believe that we are called to higher things, friends. Let us be a voice of peace, comfort, and selfless love at a time where many need it most.