“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” Luke 4:18
Within the past week, the U.S. has celebrated Independence Day, repeatedly watched on various media outlets the deaths of Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile – who were senselessly murdered at the hands of police officers – viewed live footage of police officers and protesters being shot at, and killed at a Black Lives Matters march, and witnessed the sin and hatred of racism polarize people based upon the pigmentation of their skin, despite declaring to be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Compassion continues to come at a cost.
For my fellow Black and Brown Americans, our emotions surrounding the most recent events extend far beyond sympathy because so many of us have directly experienced the strangling, choke-holds of racism not only in encounters with the few police who do not uphold the oath they have taken to protect, and to serve, but also during walks through our own neighborhoods, during family gatherings with our loved ones, while trying to make an honest living, and even while taking a respite to worship in our sanctuaries. And what compounds the hurt of being misunderstood, and needing to once again declare that BLACK LIVES MATTERS, is that there are fellow Christians who are taking pieces of the gospel to condemn our anger and fear. The condemnation of our reaction to the reality of our existence as US citizens is wrong because it does not align with biblical principles, nor does this align with the example that Jesus gave.
Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the abandoned, and rejected people of society. He turned over tables, and used a whip when he saw the people being taken advantage of in the temple. And he even said himself that he was called to heal the brokenhearted. There is no way we, as Christians, can help the hurting, Christian or not, if we keep deciding to nitpick from the Bible the parts that make us feel comfortable, and use those parts to hurt others and devalue their pain.
To my fellow White brothers and sisters, it is time to remove the garment of privilege, exchange it for the cloak of injustice, and then to tear and destroy that same cloak of injustice so that NO ONE will bear its burden again. It is time that you come bow, and break bread with us at the table of inequality and share in our feast of fear, so that together we can prepare a meal of peace, and of a sound mind. It is time to bear the cross of racism, to endure the nails of hatred, so that we may all resurrect as the called body of Christ, comprised of many parts that look, sound, and behave differently. It is time to pay the cost of compassion, if we are ever to be known for our love. And to my Christian brothers and sisters of all races, ethnicities, and creeds, we must be bold, accurate, and whole in declaring our faith, and then we MUST attach our works, and demonstrate the commitment to justice that will show that we are true disciples of Jesus, the Christ.
To hear more about “The Cost of Compassion”, and other topics, tune in to “Wellness in Faith with Sherry Wherry” every Monday at 7pm EST at blogtalkradio.com/rswellness.