The past 24 hours have been heartbreaking, eye opening, mind blowing and gut wrenching to say the least. I have watched the videos of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I’ve read the numerous comments and posts from both white and black people demanding bloodshed and spewing racism and pure hate. However, I have not spoken out about it directly. I never do in situations like this. It’s not that I have nothing to say, or that I don’t care. I CARE. However, as outspoken as I can be, I just don’t know what to say. Venting my own frustrations regarding white police officers killing black people won’t make a difference. Getting likes on a Facebook status calling for unity and an end to racism has not yet made a difference.
Yesterday and today, I took all of my pain and anger, and vented to God. I expressed my grief for the victims of the shootings. I prayed for comfort and healing for their families. I prayed for justice to be served, not on the world’s terms, but on God’s. Then, I felt compelled to pray for God to forgive the police officers who were involved. I know you probably think I’m crazy. Why in the world would I ask God for the forgiveness of murderers? Why would I even fix my lips to pray for the very people that have caused so much pain and outrage? I did it because of love. Jesus asked God to forgive the people that crucified him and that love conquered all (Luke 23:34).
The last thing I prayed was for an answer. How do we end this madness? What can I do personally besides typing up a pretty post for social media? The answer I received was, “LOVE.” God is love, and Love is the answer. (1 John 4:8)
Situations like these give the enemy the perfect opportunity to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). When we react by repaying evil for evil (1 Peter 3:9), we are not operating in love. We are adding more chaos to a situation that was created to destroy us in the first place, and allowing the enemy to win once again (Proverbs 10:12). When we love regardless of skin color, or culture, or personal beliefs, God is pleased and we are rewarded (Luke 6:35). When we do everything in love regardless of what is going on at the moment, we have no reason to be afraid of anything (1 John 4:18-19). Love is the answer.
This answer may seem too simple, and it may even be ignored by some, but it’s on my heart and I decided to finally speak on it. This does not mean that we can’t be upset. We have that right. This does not mean that we can’t take action against injustice. We just need to remember to pray first, trust God and do it in love; not the type of love that is based upon emotion, but the kind that is not optional and based upon direct orders from God (1 Peter 4:8). The day we all decide to love and act accordingly regardless of how we feel personally, is the day that we can all have peace (2 Corinthians 13:11).
No love. No peace.
Know love. Know peace.
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT LOVE
Luke 6:31 NIV
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’There is no commandment greater than these.”
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
1 Peter 4:8
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 John 4:7
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:18-19
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
1 John 4:8
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.