There was a period in my life when I pretty much avoided the news. It wasn’t because I was too busy or the news was too depressing, though that’s what I would say out loud. Instead, it was apathy. I knew there were wars happening across the globe and that injustices due to race and class were apparent in my own community, but my mentality was that those events didn’t directly affect me or that the issues were so big that there was nothing I could do. If I did happen to take in some news, I would comment on how sad an issue was and then turn off the TV or close the news article and move on with my life. Alternatively, I’d just flip over to the latest hit show and immerse myself in escapism, rather than wrestle with the truth of what I had just taken in: the truth that others do not have the option of escaping.
The reality is that any injustice, no matter how minor or severe, against another human should move me to do something. All people are created in the image of God. As a follower of Christ, I am to value and protect that life. I am to actively work against the social injustice that occurs on a regular basis in this country and my community. But what does that look like?
Most recently, the killings of African Americans and police officers really convicted me to talk to someone about doing something. I didn’t know what to do exactly, but I knew I was being convicted to move, so I went to our church leadership. In all honesty, I was pretty nervous about this for a couple of reasons. First, I had been ignoring feelings like this for a while, so there was some conviction regarding the disobedience. Second, I didn’t know how I’d be received. I didn’t know how to articulate my thoughts. I wasn’t sure how to navigate both my religious convictions and political opinions. I didn’t know if I was just going to babble aimlessly and feel like I was wasting the time of busy people, but arranging this meeting was obedience for me. It was time to do something.
That meeting went really well. Concerns were expressed, feelings were shared, and I was excited to learn about plans our church already had in motion in this area. We worked together to incorporate new ideas into the church game-plan. For example, we’re designing activities to facilitate conversations about race and the Gospel among our members. We’re also being intentional about how we grow our church and families in a context that is decidedly not very diverse. I’m excited for the way God is currently moving us as a church to do something and I look forward to acting and moving with my church family in these areas in the future.