My heart is breaking for our home country. While I am thankful that people are finally coming together in the fight against racial injustice, I am distraught that it took something as severe as the murder of George Floyd for people to wake up to the reality of systemic racism in America. Even though my husband and I are physically far-removed from the situation, we can’t stop thinking about and praying for the city we lived and worked in for years. As a teacher I have always felt passionate about closing the achievement gap, but after recent events I feel the fire being stoked. Things NEED to change in order for there to be true justice within the American school system.
As I discussed this topic with a friend here, she kept asking, “Are all Americans racist? Why do they hate black people?” I felt incapable of answering her questions well. There is no good, justified reason for people’s actions and attitudes. It is a dark, horrible sin that is finally coming to light and the world is watching. Yet America is not the only country to fall into the sin of racism. Everyone is at fault to some degree, because no one is without sin. Here we see it play out towards three people groups in particular, yet my friends do not see it as a problem. Sin tends to work that way. It is much easier to see the speck in someone else’s eye than the log in your own.
As my friend asked me these questions, I felt my frustration growing towards her. In the past she has made racist comments to me about the Jews and the Chinese, yet she was totally oblivious of her own sin. That night as I prayed for her, I realized something. Since she does not know Jesus, there is no hope for her if she acknowledges her sin. She is a VERY religious person, but she believes she is saved by doing enough good deeds. Therefore she does very little introspection, because she is afraid of what she will find in her own heart. She doesn’t see the need for a Savior, and she doesn’t want to. The longer I prayed, the more empathy replaced my frustration.
I hope that as you read this, you would pause and search your heart. Search your heart for sin, and turn to the One who can save you from that sin. I hope that you will feel inspired to pray and feel empathy towards those who do not see their own heart problem. I hope that you will partner with me in prayer for my friends here--that their eyes would be open to their need for Jesus, and they would run to Him without hesitation.