Words cannot express the heaviness and the sadness that fills my heart for the many black lives lost, way too soon, to senseless acts of violence, at the hands of people who lacked justifiable reasons to do so other than racial profiling, hatred, and bigotry. Which may I add, boils down to one word—sin.
My heart goes out to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Auberry, and Breonna Taylor, but especially to their dear mothers who had brought each of these precious souls into this world and loved them unconditionally. Now, there’s a hole in their hearts that may never be healed.
As a mother of a black son, I tremble each time I hear about another killing of a black man, because that black man could have been my son. I sing praises to God every time my son and I connect over the phone, and my heart is full when I hear he’s happy and healthy. But, that’s not the case for many mothers and their sons who are wrongfully locked up in prison, strung out on drugs, or unemployed and unable to provide for themselves and their families. This scenario is all too common in many black communities across the United States.
So, many people are outraged, because it seems as if the system has failed them. In many ways, it has, so enough is enough. What can you do? What can I do? Many people have taken to the streets in protests. In fact, I attended a peaceful protest in my neighborhood of Sacramento to show my solidarity.
Violence, protests, and unrest can’t bring these souls back, but it can bring about change and reform to the criminal justice system. It can send a strong message to the perpetrators, and it can send a strong message to our elected officials. I also believe it starts with our black brothers and sisters having a dialogue with our white brothers and sisters about the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. We have to get to the root cause to bring about an intense awareness of the issues we all face and help them feel our hearts and maybe they will begin to put themselves in our shoes.
If I could offer any encouragement, it would be to point people to a very loving, compassionate Jesus, who hurts when we hurt. He wants to bind the wounds of the broken hearted and set the captives free. Will you let Him in?
BY KAREN R. GARDNER, Executive Director