A challenge to Christ-followers to reject the religious “either or” mentality in favor of a more constructive (albeit more complex) “both and” philosophy. Not only is it possible to be people of conviction and compassion, it’s necessary. Not only is it possible to be people who are engaged socially and empowered spiritually, it’s necessary. Not only is it possible to embrace our race, our faith, and our gender identities at the same time, it’s necessary.
The irony of the shared last name between a black birdwatcher and a white dog-walker in Central Park is not lost on anyone. There was a master-slave contract lingering in the air between them, absorbing every word they spoke.
As I watched George Floyd be ruthlessly murdered on the street by a uniformed police officer, I thought, “My God, this is really the story.” George Floyd is the American story. Black people in America have had a knee on our necks for 400 years.
This is the nature of a year. Every year, and thus all of life, is high and low and in-between. And we never see it coming. The best we can do is expect the chaos, lean into Jesus and brace ourselves for a crash course in life’s most important lesson—that we are not in control.
Like the natural process that requires intense heat and extreme pressure to transform carbon into diamonds, I began to see beauty emerge from this trying season when I let the pressure fulfill its purpose.
When Jesus was born, love broke into the human realm for the first time. A true love. A radical love. An “I will give my life for you” love that we had never known. A love we didn’t (and still don’t) deserve.