Hebrews 10: 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works (NKJV)
This past week has been tough. I, too, watched in horror as George Floyd begged for help. I wanted to reach in the tv and push that cop off his neck. I actually could not watch the entire video for the hurt and anger that rose up in me. It felt as if someone was on my chest. My acid reflux started to act up and the tears just rolled. George even called out for mother.
In that instant, I was transported back about a week and a half ago. My middle daughter had left our house riding with her Hispanic boyfriend and ten minutes later I saw her number come across my phone. It was after 11 and I answered to hear her crying, Mommy, Mommy! We just got stopped by the police! My heart dropped into my stomach and I forced myself to talk to her in a voice calmer than my emotions were in reality. I told her to stop crying, breathe, and keep her hands where they could see her. I told her to answer their questions calmly, put me on speaker, and not to make any sudden moves. The main cop allowed her to keep me on until my husband arrived when he saw how young the two were. The tags on the car were expired which is why he stopped them. Both of them were afraid that it was white cops stopping them because they were brown.
When she got back to the house, my daughter could not stop crying. She was visibly shaken and admitted that she was afraid she was not going to come home. I held her and cried too. I did my best to assure her she was safe knowing I didn’t feel that way in my heart.
And then we saw the murder of George Floyd. She has been the most vocal about her feelings since she just experienced firsthand the fear of the cops. She saw cops as being there to help her for the most part. Now she does not. My baby now wonders if she will ever have children because she does not want to bring children into a world that will hate them because they are black.
I have experienced anxiety this past week and overwhelming fear and sadness for all black people. I have had two nights of waking up crying from a nightmare. Yes, I am affected profoundly by these events and can’t hide it. I have spent time in prayer and worship because through it all, I have hope.
I do not have hope that racism will be erased but that the intangible tenacity of people with the will to survive, who have been oppressed, will remain and stand tall through this season. I have hope that God will give us new ideas on how to combat this struggle. I feel that as we use our economic power to support each other on the upcoming blackout day, new businesses will emerge that will provide various streams of income. I hope that we can learn more about stocks and will build wealth and legacies for our children that our parents never dreamed of.
I resolve to be mindful of my own implicit biases and not pass them on to my children or impose them on people who are different from me. I want to find the courage in me to go talk to the neighbors on my street to just introduce myself and let them know I am down the street if they need any help, regardless of their race. I don’t want this latest act of cruelty to go by and have my senses lulled back into a space where I do nothing ever again. I must use my voice to challenge us all to be better people.
I have not lost hope that God is still in control and He sees what His creation is doing. I believe He has a plan for my life and I must walk tall in my calling and purpose. I must brighten the corner where I am to show others that God is real! I must show unconditional love and forgiveness. It may not be my way to loot and riot but I understand the frustration of the people. I will pray for the safety of everyone as they protest. I pray my children will stay safe as they live their lives. I pray America wakes up and no one else will lay dying, not able to breathe by the the hands of those sworn to protect.
I hope we tell our stories to our children, nieces, and nephews of what we have seen and endured so they will understand us better as they see us pressing forward. Because we must press forward. Sad, angry, and frustrated – yes. But pressing forward. In as much peace as possible and in purpose. I still hope……..