All of us rose this morning to the news of another tense night had occurred in Ferguson.
I am not sure what to make of it. Right there in the heart of America, the tensions of the country are boiling over. There are so many complex issues thrown into the mix that I, as well as many Americans, feel a little unsure of how to comment out of a fear of being taken the wrong way, or of being labeled in a way that is not correct. Look a the conflict.
- A terrible thing happened to that young man, but so many questions remain unanswered about the events leading up to the shooting.
- The community should seek and be given answers, but due process exists to find those answers.
- We have the right to protest, but we don’t have the right to fire shots, burn buildings and steal while doing it.
- The press has a right to report, and the responsibility to not be the issue.
There are many more issues that have conflicting assertions in this event. This has the markings of being a pinnacle moment in American History. Is this really a race issue? What is going on with the amount of firepower our police force has obtained? Curfews? In America? And then, way down at the root of this whole issue, two families have had their lives ripped apart.
I feel there is something all of us must do around this issue. But, quite frankly, I feel somewhat paralyzed. I could very easily dismiss this as something that does not impact me. After all, my daily life is unchanged, at the moment. But something tells me there is more to this event than we can imagine. How do we respond? I don’t think I have all the answers here. In fact, I am writing this to try to get some of my thoughts sorted. Here is what I came up with this morning.
First, pay attention to this. Think about it. Listen to other viewpoints. Let this whole thing be a challenge to examine these issues.
Second, as followers of the Christ, always couch our answers, thoughts and ideas around this topic in love for people. We should express our thoughts and viewpoints. We should challenge each other to think deeply. There is a lot at stake. However, maintaining civility and brotherly love should be paramount. Shy away from being divisive, and find ways to bring people together.
Finally, although this may seem trite, let us use the power of prayer. Pray for America, pray for understanding and growth – on all sides.
What do you think?