Over the last week, the images of the events, which transpired last weekend in Charlottesville have replayed in my head and continue to be heart wrenching and disturbing. Racism is evil at the purest form. My heart has a hard time comprehending this kind of hatred. It is hard to face the harsh reality—racism is still alive and breeding deep in the souls of some Americans.
But racism is a sin problem. My grandfather once said, “There is no scriptural basis for segregation. The ground at the foot of the cross is level, and it touches my heart when I see whites standing shoulder to shoulder with blacks at the cross.”
“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13).” People who have hatred for one another due to their race, color, religion, or ethnicity need a miracle of the heart. A person who is capable of that much hate needs a new heart—that is a miracle—and there is only one person who is in the miracle business; Jesus.
My grandfather, Billy Graham wrote, “When Jesus enters the human scene, we discover that togetherness and hope are things that happen immediately. Upon our receiving Him as Savior and Lord, we are together with other like-minded believers, we are bonded together with each other, whether we are Americans or Russians, black or white, red or yellow Christians. Jesus Christ puts us all together.”
Why are we surprised of the disturbing events, which took place last weekend in Charlottesville, VA, with all the hate that has been brewing in our society? Are you not tired of the hate? Everyone. Each side is out of control.
President Trump is absolutely right when he says, both sides are to blame for the conflict.
This is not making anything political; it is the truth. To find healing we have to look at the truth. There were racial and social tensions way before President Trump took his office (he is not to blame), but since November 8,it seems that the hatred has been out of control.
Each morning when we wake up, we see more stories filled with name-calling. I am not just talking about childlike banter, but hateful speech against one another if you disagree with them. People freely use the words bigot, racist, misogynist, to slander someone if they disagree with them. We see Hollywood celebrities make threats against this president, we see politicians like Francine Waters use hateful speech each day. The media continues to drive the wedge through this country with false stories. For example, in racial and social tensions right after President Trump took office, an article came out that the Martin Luther King Jr bust had been removed from the oval office. That was a lie meant to destroy! But the damage had already been done. More hatred brewed for those who read the article. We see news agencies have to retract false stories, but once again damage has already been done.
Social media has played a huge role in the tensions today. No, it is not to blame. But it has made it easy for people to be hateful, because people can type slanderous statements directly to someone while they sit cowardly behind a screen.
It has just been hate, hate, hate. I think most people are tired of it—myself included.
Where is the hope? How do we even begin to change the hate that seems to be conspiring out of control? Being born in 1986, I have never experienced or witnessed the level of racism my grandparents, parents and even older brothers have. The only knowledge of the civil rights movement I have, I gained from movies or read about it in history books, including the impact on and of my grandfather’s ministry. I try to imagine how it must’ve been for those like my grandfather and his friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who wondered if they could do the impossible. Did they ever think they would help bring change to a divided country? These men honored God, and God can do the impossible.
We can do the impossible with the power of God.
Three things I encourage you to do.
- Love your enemy. God commands us to love our enemy and pray for them. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Recognize who your enemy is. Is it someone of a different race? Is it someone of different religion? Do you believe it to be our President? Is it your neighbor or family member? Whoever your enemy is, right now get on your knees and say a prayer for them. Your heart will learn to love them.
- Go out of your way to set a loving example to the next generation. It is so important we set clear examples to our children. Of course they will learn from our day-to-day behaviors, but I encourage you to go out of your way. I have shared a story before following the St. Louis tragedy when my daughter and I walked into a gas station and we were the only white people in the store. I encouraged my little girl to look in the eyes of an older black man and say “hello, how are you?” We must also teach our children to be loving servants. Whether that is making cookies for the local law enforcement, or sending cards to those around them telling them thank you. Setting a loving example starts with simple gestures taught to, and displayed within, the next generation.
- Prayer. As stated above, God commands us to pray for those who persecute us. Recognize who your enemy is. I encourage you right now to get on your knees and pray for them. I promise you, walls will begin to fall in your heart when you pray for the enemy. The healing begins with each individual, and it will begin with prayer. Not only should we pray for our enemies, but pray for their enemies as well. Pray for the lost and hurting world. Also, pray for our President and his administration. This nation is hurting and, our leaders need God’s wisdom.
Let the healing begin with you. Loving, forgiveness and healing will be a choice. Stop the hatred. Stop the hateful speech and actions. Begin to love one another.Let the healing begin with you.
Join me today as I pray God will place godly men and women in positions to help to once again lead this country to healing; to raise up men and women who will place political agendas aside; who will not push further divide to a hurting nation, but only purse the righteousness of Jesus Christ.