A Stone of Hope
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yesterday’s jury verdict in Minneapolis brought a collective exhale of relief among my African American friends. I was on a video conference call as the verdicts were read. I literally felt the tension in the meeting ease following the jury announcement.
Later as I scanned news reports and commentary, one thing became very clear: The reaction of relief extends far beyond my own circle of friends. At the same time as people are breathing a sigh of relief, I sense a mountain of despair.
I’m a middle-aged white man lacking much experience and knowledge when it comes to discrimination and racism. Even though I grew up in the South, I wasn’t privy to the horrors many of my fellow Americans still experience today. One guilty verdict does not make up for countless other unanswered pleas for justice.
Over the past 10 years my eyes have been opened as I’ve watched events unfold in our nation that have highlighted this festering scourge. I’ve seen it firsthand as coworkers are forced to drive back roads, simply so they won’t be targeted by police. Racism and discrimination didn’t die with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Evil still stalks among us.
It’s easy to resonate with this sense of despair. What can I do to change this ocean tide of hatred around me? What will bring us closer together as God’s children instead of driving us apart?
At the risk of sounding simplistic, I keep finding myself drawn back to the directions of our Master Healer found in Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Lord, may I live out justice and kindness today. Lord, may I stand up against oppression and be a stone of hope that will create ripples of Your love.