In the wake of recent news, it is very apparent that there are some very deep hurts coming to surface. It is also very apparent that not everyone is responding and reacting to this news with wisdom and self control. However, a response is still needed from the church and it’s ministries in the wake of tragedies that we see in the news.
We have a community of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have suffered under oppression for too long, and even with the strides we have made to bring equality to the forefront… there is a deep vein of hurt that still sees how far we still have to go. We have older generations who are seeing history repeating itself… and younger generations who are really seeing it for the first time. And I mean… REALLY seeing it.
As more families are becoming interracial, white parents are for the first time beginning to understand the fears that have plagued black parents for generations. And through this our eyes are not only being opened to the injustices and fears of our black communities… but also other communities too, from Hispanic to Native American.
We also see that the response of some have put in danger the very lives of those whom we rely on to protect us in our time of need. We see these men and women putting their own lives on the line every day, and we know that they too have a family who worries every day. They too, have a family who wants to see them make it home each night. These officers are struggling as well as they are becoming more aware of the “bad apples” among their ranks and we are seeing many standing up against them. But more needs to be done.
In the wake of this, how do we respond as a church? How do we respond as a Women’s Ministry to our hurting family?
First, we throw down denominational lines and worship preferences. We come together and support each other. Perhaps you have a church that this in a rough part of town (or that is being targeted by hatred), you reach out to them and offer up your own church. They can meet for their brunch at your church, or join your Women’s Ministry events, worshipping and fellowshipping together. Stop the divide, by reaching out a hand.
Second, as leaders we reach out to their leaders and simply ask “How can we pray for your women?”. Then do it. We reach out and we ask questions, like… “Can you help me to understand how these events are impacting your community? What can we do to be part of that change?”. Then do it.
Third, we put our feet in motion when we need to. If a local church is vandalized, we roll up our sleeves and help repaint it. If they are in need of study materials, we do what we can to get those materials in their hands. Not because they are “poor” or out of “pity”, but we do this out of love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We are saying that we see you, your need, and family helps family.
Fourth, and this should have been first really, we need to be honest with our own selves that racism, discrimination, and social injustice still exists. Not only does it still exist, it still hurts… and it is absolutely unbiblical. Therefore we stand for justice and equality, because the Lord created us all in His image.
Finally, let us not forget those who are serving the public, every day, putting their own lives on the line. How do we help them? One of the simplest things to do is to head down to your local station, when shifts start, and offer to pray with officers on their way out the door. Talk with other Women’s Ministries in your area and coordinate a rotation of churches showing up to pray. Have a special breakfast honoring the officers in your area, drop off baskets of treats, anything really… that says “we see you, we appreciate you, keep doing good work”.
These officers are under immense scrutiny right now, and the good ones (which is the majority of them) are feeling that weight too. Just letting these men and women know that we appreciate what they are doing can be a HUGE boost for their attitude, knowing the majority of the community is not vilifying them over the actions of others.
Ladies… be in prayer for our country. I recently watched an interview with three pastors on this topic. One of them said that God is bringing to the forefront a pain that has been lingering in the background for too long. He is opening more eyes to see what has been here all along. Though we have pain and suffering now, there will be joy in the morning.
Please use the comments section on this post to share you thoughts, ideas, feelings. What are you doing to reach out to your communities? If you are a church that is hurting, tell the rest of us how we can help you. If I am totally off base, correct me… I want to know! If I’m heading in the right direction, tell us what more we can do. How can we pray for your church and community? Be honest, be raw, let’s be a catalyst of conversation that leads to the change we need.