The events of the last few days have been heartbreaking. I’m grieving for the senseless loss of the lives of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers. I’ve watched the videos, and I’m horrified by the events that have transpired. Still those on both sides must exercise restraint. We don’t have all of the details yet. We must insist on justice, but we must do so through peaceful and lawful means. Reacting with anger and hatred will only add fuel to the fire. We are already experiencing a vicious cycle of racial tension exacerbated by an epidemic of fear. The black community has deeply-rooted reasons for mistrust and fear. In turn, the law enforcement community has experienced violence at the hands of blacks far more often than most of us realize. When both parties meet in a high-tension situation, the worst is inevitable.
Recently, the son of a friend of mine was ruthlessly gunned down while on duty. As a result, it would be easy for me to take the side of law enforcement. But I don’t want to take sides, and I can see that reacting on social media is not helping the situation. Instead, I’m choosing to pray. I’m pouring out my heart to the only One who can heal this divide. My prayer is this:
O God, our peace, who breaks down the barriers of hostility through Christ, I ask you to heal our racial divide and bring forgiveness and restoration through the power of Your gospel. Each of the souls that have gone into eternity were known and loved by You. Please help their families and communities seek comfort in You, knowing that you understand their grief like none other.
Help us not to react in anger or hatred, but leave vengeance to You, whose justice is all-knowing and unswerving. Help us be forbearing and forgiving as You have forgiven us. May those who are struggling emotionally find peace through Your grace. Please stop the spiral of anger and fear in which we are trapped. Restore our souls and lead us in paths of righteousness, for Your name’s sake. Amen.