The National Crisis

Tipping point-n., the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development.

Events in the Spring of 2020 may well have brought our nation to a "tipping point,” a time when things are forced to change. This often happens for the good of a society--but not always.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to re-think the way we work, educate our children, socialize, and worship and disciple others. It has brought us back home as families, too. This has been a tragedy, of course, as multitudes have died, but some positive things are coming from it.

Now, with the murder of George Floyd, we are confronting, on a massive scale, injustice born of racism. Protesters fill the streets and our cities are burning. Issues that have for a long time simmered just beneath the surface in our culture are now erupting, sometimes violently.

Like you, my heart grieves at the images on our televisions these last several days. I pray for cooler heads to prevail, and for peace and calm to return. That no other lives will be lost. Certainly, such mayhem and wanton destruction is unacceptable.

But it cannot be a prayer for things to go back to the way they were in some imagined better time in our country. I am trying to understand that these protests are coming from deep anguish over what happened to Floyd last week, and to Ahmaud Arbery several days before that, and to so many other African-American young men over the course of our history. Unarmed, sometimes totally innocent, men who were mistreated or even killed because of the color of their skin. We need to hear their cries and feel that weight of injustice that they have carried for so long.

Most law enforcement personnel are good and decent individuals, putting their lives on the line every day for our safety. This is not an indictment of them. They are heroes to be honored. The ones I have heard from, friends of mine, are just as grieved by all of this as anyone else. But clearly something is dreadfully wrong in our country when things like this can happen so regularly.

God is a God who desires righteousness and justice for all people--and that needs to be our cause, too. We must not be content to merely say, "Well, I am not a racist." Christians need to be anti-racists.

 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
 for the rights of all who are destitute.
 Speak up and judge fairly;
 Defend the rights of the poor and needy
-- Proverbs 31:8-9

"He has shown you, O man, what is good.
 And what does the LORD require of you?
 To act justly and to love mercy
 and to walk humbly with your God.

-- Micah 6:8

It would help all of us gain better understanding if we would sit down with members of another race and listen to each other. I intend to do more of that in the days just ahead (James 2:19-20). Things can be better, we can get through all of this, if we are willing to allow God to work on our heart and the hearts of our brothers and sisters.

If I didn't believe in the possibility of change, I wouldn't be much of a Christian.

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