The news over the last couple of weeks has been quite disturbing. As if the continuation of the pandemic weren’t enough, we now have the flagrant violation of one’s sworn duty to protect and serve by murdering a man, George Floyd. This tragic incident has ripped the blinders off many and exposed the deep division that exists in our country. Both my mom and dad were police officers. My dad is likely turning over in his grave about the details of how Mr. Floyd was abused and died at the hands of peace officers. Having served as the first female police officer in Sugar Land, my mom is disgusted that another person who, if any of the complaints that have been brought up are true, should not have been a police officer and certainly should not be able to keep his position.
If this wasn’t enough to grasp and process, in the crosshairs is our First Amendment right of peaceful assembly. It is being tested as peaceful protestors are infiltrated by violent factions who turn these otherwise peaceful demonstrations into riots. I love that we live in a country where we have the right to assemble and protest; I have done this myself. But my heart aches when people within groups, either as individuals or by inciting others, commit crimes as unjustified as what began the initial protests. I saw an article just last week questioning whether peaceful protests are effective. What we need is peace. The same kind of peace Christ demonstrated. The same kind of peaceful protests that Gandhi moved the hearts of despots with. We need to observe the kind of peaceful demonstration that set this country on a better path with Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders in the 1960s. We all need to be praying for peace … the kind of completeness, wholeness, welfare, tranquility and transcending peace that is wrapped up in the Hebrew word, “Shalom.”
There are two songs that come to mind that both comfort and convict me. In Casey Corum’s “Peace” he writes, “When words are gone and I’ve nothing left, you’re near, when I’m undone, you’re oxygen, I’m breathing you in.” It is so easy in this season of life to become overwhelmed. We need to pause and remember God is always near and when we are seemingly at the end of our rope, just breathe. God is there.
Then in Sy Miller and Jill Jackson’s “Let There Be Peace On Earth” the final part of the chorus says, “Let this be my solemn vow: to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
I get goosebumps thinking about the incredible trust and responsibility God places in those of us who call ourselves Christians (little Christs). The peace we say we want begins with us. I hope you are fervently praying for peace and when you hear someone make a racial comment or disparaging remark about another human being … created in the image of God… just because of the tint of their skin, SPEAK UP and let peace begin with you! Peace!