I was pulled over yesterday and had a gun pulled on me because, as a black man I posed a threat to a white officer that was approaching my car. I giggled because I was listening to “On My Own” by Lecrae on the newly released soundtrack from “The Birth Of A Nation.” Instantly the Holy Spirit comforted me and said that they didn’t know that I was one of God’s children so they saw me thru the broken lens that humanity has provided for an African American male who also has alarming hair atop his head.
As I was questioned, cautioned and seen as a threat while being parked under a tree in midday, observing God’s creation, I was quickly confronted by hatred. But how could I hate in a manner that would single out a single people group according to the pigmentation of their skin….Isn’t that what was happening to me? I myself come from a hometown where love overflowed for me and the skin of most people there was far from tan if you know what I mean. I have had coaches, teachers, pastors, friends, teammates that have immensely disproved the lie that white people are haters of those who have skin darker than theirs. —>So, I prayed as I sat in the car that God would illumine the eyes of these officers whose eyes read fear….and an all-inclusiveness that involved those of darker skin…I prayed that God would show them the depths of His love & as that were to take place, He would impart in them an understanding and vision for those things that our eyes can’t capture.
I asked one of the officers how his day was going while they were running my license and he said that the past couple days had been rough and he proceeded to tell me of the string of robberies in the area that had them on high alert. I could understand the fear behind that story. We connected over the University of Memphis and I learned that a past unit member had played lineman for them. Short after, I vividly remember the handshake from the officer that was almost an apology as I saw the compassion in his eyes once he realized that he had judged me as a thief or criminal without ever speaking to me.
The job as an officer is a tough one and we need officers to patrol faithfully because they are who I would call if my car was the one getting broke into or if something bout to pop off that I see myself wanting no parts of.
You see, the problem isn’t a skin problem but when we get around to the root of things, it’s a sin problem. I hate that racism and prejudice acts exist…but as they exist we can stand as light posts and be examples of everything we hope to see world wide one day when Jesus returns. Jesus sees the brokenness and He cares. He sees the hurt and He cares. He hears our cries and He cares. The purposes of God are higher than mine and I can’t question His mighty hand but I can aim to reciprocate the hate thru the power of His name.
God, I pray we Lift our eyes to You and begin to see each other, see the hurt, see the struggle and take steps of action. I pray we ask questions and go deep with people who are unlike us because you care for them. God help us care with and open mind as we may hear things we don’t fully understand. Help us See our circle of influence and begin to take steps of courage! It starts with conversation with one or two and should multiply itself in the spirit of genuine care. But We can’t do it alone, we need You Lord, and we need each other.
We shouldn’t simply think black and white, but begin to think on a broader spectrum. In the West we see one or the other but God sees all races and all socio-economic statuses….None better than the other, all different and all having significance because they reflect the Father & Author of existence.
I don’t seek sympathy, I reach to the Heavens and plead that they would pour out love until we cohabit the same space. God, Let us see our own brokenness so we can in turn see our need for You! You’ve been so patient with us…redeem our stagnant feet with fire that we wouldn’t be able to rest as long as we are solely focused inwardly.
Don’t allow us to be color blind but allow us to have lenses that would embrace and celebrate the variety of shades in which you’ve decorated this earth! I guess in short, God, what I’m asking, is that you would make us more like your Son and help us see that an image of He, is all we’ve ever wanted to be!