While patiently waiting for our sweet little boy to arrive, I’ve had a chance to just be still. I find myself constantly reflecting on the racial conflict and tension that has been stirring up our nation. How did we let things get so out of hand? How can we turn a deaf ear and blind eye to our very own people when we see them hurting, beaten, killed, and wrongfully accused? I do believe all of this has been swirling around in my heart because the Lord wants me to be one of the many to intercede for the hurting.
A couple of Sunday’s ago, my Pastor preached a very profound message on Responding to Racism and directed us to The Beatitudes in Matthews 5. I found myself particularly drawn to Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” At first, I couldn’t put my finger on why this one particular verse struck me so hard. Throughout my life I have always been so sensitive to seeing and knowing when other people are hurting. One of my main strengths is empathy, yet, I find it very difficult to pray and ask God to allow me to feel what He feels. All of a sudden it hit me. I put the pain God feels in a box causing me to limit what I am willing to feel for others. This shocking revelation was like ripping off a band-aid and exposing a nerve. How can I show love and comfort to people if I am not open to all of the pain they battle with every single day? There is so much exposure to evil in the world, that without God, the heart becomes numb. We all do it, change the channel, sensor stories in our news feed, and stay inside our nice cozy bubble. After all, it will pass and a different story will soon make headlines, right? Fortunately, my heavenly Father doesn’t see or feel the way I do. The pain the Father feels should inspire me to act and be on my knees in prayer, interceding for the nation I call home. If everyone (including myself) relied on others to fix the problem, then nothing would ever be resolved. Prayer is action. Prayer will heal us. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is the ONLY thing that can turn people from the world and towards God. Even though it will hurt, my prayer is to feel what God feels. Because if I mourn, He will not only comfort me, but those I lift up to Him.
Do you mourn or just turn a blind eye? How are we to create change if we cannot feel anything and cannot comfort? The Responding to Racism message is available here. I challenge you to not just listen, but to humble yourself before God. Ask Him to change your heart in any of these areas. There is always room for improvement in our lives, you just have to be bold enough to ask for it.