by Roger Kruse
Three weeks ago, you probably never even heard of the name, George Floyd. Now the whole world knows who he is and how he died. Obviously, no one deserves to die as he did. As a result, his tragic death has become a symbol of racial discrimination and injustice. Many folks are rising up to say, “Enough!” Protests around the globe highlight the ugliness of racism and the need for fair treatment and justice for all. Yes, black lives do matter! The issue of violence and looting is a different subject. By so doing they turn themselves into lawbreakers. Those who go down that road only hurt their cause and divert the focus from the real matter at hand.
It would be easy to just condemn the police who were involved in the event. “After all,” we muse, “None of us would be so blind and uncaring.” Now they must face the consequences of their action or failure to intervene. However, I wonder how many of us have taken the time to look into our own hearts. How many times have we failed to compassionately care for those around us, black or white? We are so quick to criticize and condemn others when we ourselves are often mired in selfishness, pride and self-justification. All sin and wrong doing is an evidence that we have strayed from God and His will for our lives. Our world is not a very pretty picture. Its brokenness cries out for repair. How will the root of racial prejudice and discrimination be expunged from our society? Is better education enough to change behavior? Is knowing the right thing to do a guarantee that we will do it? Each of our hearts and minds must be transformed by the One who gave us life.
When God made the first man and woman, He did something special. In contrast to all His other created works, He made humans in His own image, in the very likeness of God. Consequently, we are unique and special. Ours is the privilege to know God and reflect His character. The color of our skin, the place of our birth, our economic standing in society, or our education has no bearing on our essential value as a human being. We are all highly valued and loved by God. Our differentness and diversity is actually an expression of God’s plan and purposes. He delights in blending us together in order to make our unity a more beautiful thing. The 7 colors of the rainbow create a “wow factor” that make us marvel at its rich and radiant spectrum of light.
As one who has been traveling to India since 1976, it has been my great privilege to know, love and work with people of color. I have never met more generous, hospitable, and deeply spiritual people. They inspire and bless me over and over again. Many of the most gracious, Christ-like persons I have ever met, are poor and dark-skinned. We all need new hearts and eyes to see like Jesus. His treatment of people was without partiality. His loving gaze looked deep into human hearts and sought to say and do what was needed to bring about God’s help and blessing. The Savior who died to forgive and make us whole, also taught us this profound wisdom. “Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.” Only with God’s help can we do it.
Roger Kruse too easily allows prejudice to find a place in his heart.
However, God’s Spirit is teaching him the ways of Jesus, day by day.