There is no excuse for what was done to George Floyd, how he was killed. It was unspeakably tragic. My heart and prayers go out to him and his family. Moral outrage, expressed with dignity, is certainly an appropriate response to what happened.
Rioting and looting? There is no dignity in this. Behavior stooped way down to this level accomplishes nothing.
I admit I will never know what it’s like to be a black man, to know that a life-threatening atrocity can happen at any moment just because of the color of my skin. It is unconscionable to look at someone and make judgments about them because of the color of their skin, or their gender or religion. I’m disgusted that this happens. It is disappointing and foolish that there are people of all races who strive to keep racism alive.
What is the point of these violent protests? It can’t really be a cry for justice–the perpetrating former policeman was fired, arrested, and charged, as it should be. The other 3 cops who stood by while this atrocity occurred and did nothing have been fired. Justice is on its way to being served.
Is the point of the riots to end racism? Nothing says “Why can’t we all get along?” like burning down local businesses and destroying neighborhoods. I wonder what Dr. Martin Luther King would say about all this.
When things like this happen, it’s easy to think that the darkness, the evil in this world, is winning. Isn’t it?
Well, when the church was born on this day, Pentecost Sunday–the day the Holy Spirit was poured into this broken world–racism already had a lengthy and notorious history. In fact, as ugly as what’s happening now is, people tended to do even more awful and evil things to each other 2000 years ago. God was and is disgusted by racism and the endless other examples of the depravity of man, but He was not and is not surprised by it.
This is why the world–and each of us in it–need redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation. This is why we needed, and still need, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Strange as it may seem to us, this is God’s plan to turn the world around: to live in us and guide us as we each in our own small way, day by day, brandish our flickering little candles of light against the seemingly bottomless pit of darkness in this world.
But this is how we win.
Nothing banishes darkness like light. Nothing overcomes hate like love. It doesn’t always make sense, but it doesn’t have to–it’s God’s plan. He will find a way to make it work. He will take our 2 fish and few little crumbs of bread and feed 5000 people with it.
We can and should be assured by reminding ourselves of how the Apostle John introduces Jesus in his gospel (John 1:5): “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
And it never will.