Thoughts on #Ferguson

My heart breaks for ‪#‎Ferguson‬ and for America this morning.

My heart breaks over the fact that the the death of an unarmed teenager at the hands of a police officer is accepted as standard operating procedure.

My heart breaks for all the police officers whose lives are endangered and jobs made more difficult by the suspicion and lack of respect that situations like this breed in the community.

My heart breaks for the African-American community whose cries for justice are drowned out by the sounds of looting, vandalism, and rioting by some of their own number.

My heart breaks that so many others could not muster up any sorrow or sympathy when an 18-year-old was lying dead in the street, but are now suddenly filled with righteous indignation over burned cars and businesses.

My heart breaks that after centuries of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow laws, there are still people voicing the opinion that looting and vandalism is proof that African-Americans deserve to be shot dead by police (and yes, that sentiment has been voiced by some of my Facebook friends).

My heart breaks that we Christians, who claim to worship the Prince of Peace, the One who tears down dividing walls and who loves justice, are often the ones perpetuating and promoting a divide between the races, and that we so often do not even realize we’re doing it.

My heart breaks that I am often content to ignore injustice and go about my life.

My heart breaks that even with the destructive effects of sin on full display, we are so hesitant to preach the gospel, which alone has the power to root out systemic injustice and heal racial tensions.

“Therefore justice is far from us,
And righteousness does not overtake us;
We hope for light, but behold, darkness,
For brightness, but we walk in gloom. …
All of us growl like bears,
And moan sadly like doves;
We hope for justice, but there is none,
For salvation, but it is far from us. …
Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands far away;
For truth has stumbled in the street,
And uprightness cannot enter.
Yes, truth is lacking;
And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.

Now the LORD saw,
And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.”

(Isaiah 59:9, 11, 14-16)