I have spent the past two weeks trying to figure out what exactly to say in response to the murder of George Floyd. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say. It was that I had soooo much to say. Maybe even too much. I wanted so desperately to explain it all. The exhaustion, the systemic racism, my own experiences, how it’s impossible to be a follower of Christ and knowingly condone racism, why the responses whether peaceful or not made sense… all of it. So much so, that in my first attempts to write I tried to unpack so much within the confines of a blog post that I quickly became overwhelmed. After deciding to take a step back and pray for guidance I concluded that my purpose is currently not in the unpacking and explanation of racial oppression but in presenting the solution.
Also, within these past two weeks I have seen every source of media respond to the initial impact of this continuous cycle of tragedy. Through the course of a week or two we have moved on from the initial conversations and responses that these catastrophic events bring and onto solutions and movements. As a result, I stumbled across a video that moved me. In the video you see an incredible exchange between three generations of black men. The three men, all in different forms of communication resolve that the death of George Floyd is a cycle. That in the past and now, we’ve come up with solutions, some peaceful some not so peaceful, and yet we are here again. In the end the message that rings clear is that something different must be done. That we need “to find a better way.” I agree.
Before I continue, I must say that regardless of the results of the trials to come. George Floyd did not die in vain. Justice or not. His murder was the one that shook not only a country but the world and has opened the eyes and hearts of many that are willing to come to terms with the truth of the world we live in. The world knows and says his name. I must also say that we know systemic oppression as a result of racism is the problem. No matter how many ways you try to spin it, racism is the wrong. We also know that only love can overcome oppression. Not just any love, but love as God has commanded.
So now, onto the better way. In order to understand the better way we must first know that oppression is a spirit. A spirit that dwells in the hearts of man and transforms itself into insurmountable forms of injustice. There is a spirit of oppression not only in America but in the world. Yes we’ve seen progress but the truth is, as soon as a generation thinks they have a solution or that all is somewhat well, the cycle resurfaces. Everyone’s tired but we keep doing the same things. We come up with hashtags, have meetings, make laws, give speeches, try our best to educate and inform, among many other things yet we always end up here. Please don’t think I am against these solutions! I have used and will continue to use quite a few of them. But these are things we have been doing for centuries in one format or another. It’s time to fight differently. It’s time to find a better way.
In the process of finding a better way it’s important to remember that “we do not battle against flesh and blood enemies but against… evil spirits.” [Ephesians 6:12] The cycle continues because we’ve been going to a spiritual battle for centuries with physical weapons and natural solutions that come from ourselves. Never truthfully wanting to lean on The Spirit that could so easily rescue us from this oppression. We have turned against God in our hearts and have decided that we can do this without him because he can’t hear us or he’s taking too long. Some have even come to the conclusion that he doesn’t exist because he has allowed this to go on for so long. As a result, we rely on our own might and get frustrated once again when the cycle resurfaces.
The better way is simple. Total and complete dependance on God. Doing things his way and waiting on his time. God so desperately wants to be there for the oppressed yet those that are oppressed turn to everything and everyone but him. Imagine if we were unified under Christ waiting on God the Father to rescue us! Maannn! Wouldn’t that be incredible! The Children of Israel are a wonderful example for not only the world but especially the oppressed. Remember how they were enslaved in Egypt and God heard their cries and rescued them.
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
But also remember how they did nothing but battle against God. When he said go fight, I am with you, they would be still. When he said be still, I am no longer with you, they would go fight in their own strength and call on other nations of people to help them. They lost every single time. They constantly rejected God’s way and refused to repent causing their cycle of oppression to continually resurface. They were only successful when they had leaders that were humble enough to follow his way and they were willing to do the same. Y’all, we can’t win without God at the center of our solutions. He is the better way. He is the only way.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.