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Racism, Prayer, Tears, & Michael Brown


I have started and stopped so many posts after Michael Brown's death last week. Racism and the issues facing minority communities are so close to my heart. I feel compelled to say something.

But words have failed me. I can't seem to articulate my sadness and anger and frustration into a cohesive paragraph. I've had some nightmares on the subject. And I just generally feel overwhelmed.

So I've been trying prayer.

I feel like I have needed God and the church this week in ways I haven't felt in a long time. I need the body of believers to remind me how we live graciously in a world broken with violence, racism, hate, and hurt. Because sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

So I did a little of that, too.

And I was listening to Pandora when the song "How He Loves Us" came on. I've always been a bit uncertain about this song. It's always struck me a bit self-involved and some versions include the phrase "sloppy wet kiss." Except you never know if the worship leader is going to use that version until it's too late. It's like the Lord's prayer... when the congregation mumbles because everyone's unsure if we're using "trespasses" or not.

Anyway, this song came on and I was just sitting and listening. Quiet and still. When my mind wandered to what I can only describe as a mental video montage.

Everyone was singing: Protestors. Police officers. Children crossing the border. Islamic extremists. Inmates on death row. College students. Images from the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag. My family.

How He loves us so.

So that's where I am this morning. Praying to a God who hates racism and injustice, and who loves us all so much I can't even comprehend it.

"Surely his salvation is near to them that fear him: that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed." - Psalm 85:9-10

"God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

Below are a couple links of thoughts on Ferguson that I want to share as well:

Black Bodies White Souls by Austin Channing Brown
Please Don't Ignore It. 5 Ways that Christians and Churches Must Engage Michael Brown's Death by Eugene Cho
I Raise My Hands: A Prayerful Response to Ferguson by Osheta Moore

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