I’ve been asking this question a lot recently, in the wake of the death of yet another Black person. I ask this not only in response to police brutality against Black people but in terms of unashamed lynching of Black people by civilians, such as in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and countless others. It is heart wrenching to say the least.
Honestly I found it hard to go to bed some days after George Floyd’s death. In the same vein, I found it hard to wake up or navigate daily life. I was overcome with grief not just for George but for every Black person that has ever been killed, unlawfully stopped and detained by the police, faced discrimination and micro aggressions, or been a victim of a hate crime because of the color of their skin. I can include myself in a few of these categories.
All of these things begged my heart to cry out:
“LORD WHERE IS YOUR JUSTICE?”
Christians are quick to say: ‘don’t forget to bring this to God’ ‘pray to God’ ‘God is in control.’ At some points it didn’t feel or look like God was in control. Black people have been hunted for centuries and it’s still happening. I think we, Christians, can oversimplify suffering at times, asking people to bottle their pain, confusion, hurt, anger, and frustration to maintain the image of a devout non-wavering, always faithful follower of Christ.
But if Thomas doubted, why can’t I?
Yes, I doubted God’s love and care for us, for Black people. I hurt and believed that if God really loved us He would change things, He would rewrite the script and He would do it NOW. Because I am tired. We are all tired. We want to enjoy our basic human right— the right to live.
So I wrestled, but I did it with God. I cried and prayed for myself, for my fellow countrymen —black, brown, yellow, and white. I was angry. I was bitter. I was reliving the moments when I faced prejudice. But I did it with Him by my side.
I want to believe God is just and faithful. I want to believe that God sees us and sees what we are going through. I believe God will bring and is bringing about justice. It will not happen at the time I want it to happen nor will it look the way I expect it to look, but I know He sees us and He hears our cries, just like He heard the cries of the Israelites when they were being oppressed by the Egyptians.
I was talking to a friend the other day, a fellow Christ follower, a fellow Black woman. And she said this:
“Black people, and other minorities, are so powerful but we don’t yet know the extent of our power. They [White people] fear us because we hold so much power. But we must acknowledge that power within ourselves. God wants to do so much through that power.”
I believe that. I believe we possess so much power that our Heavenly Father wants to perform wonders through, not to harm others, but to make this world a better place.
We are beautiful. Fearfully and wonderfully created by the Creator.
Photo by Clay Banks