In the midst of a global pandemic that had claimed over one hundred thousand lives in the U.S. alone, one African-American man’s life was taken by several Caucasian policemen in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Strangely enough, the pandemic had forced family and loved ones to grieve their heart-breaking losses in isolation; but the video evidence of George Floyd’s killing erupted into multiple streams of protesters (and, sadly, rioters) across North America, and around the world!
People have ignored curfews and the threat of COVID-19 infection, moving from their driveways, to the parkways and highways, in protest against racism and racial injustice! The vibrant, sometimes volatile mixture of their anger, determination, frustration and fear finds expression in such slogans and questions as, “Black Lives Matter!” “Am I next?” and “I can’t breathe!” – Mr. Floyd’s incessant plea for over eight long minutes, as he was pinned down, including with a knee to his neck!
Then, of course, have come the endless analyses, the passionate condemnations, the righteous prayers, and the assertions that this hate-filled, cold-blooded act of police brutality against an unarmed African-American man will be the last; or even the one that will help us begin to deal with systemic racism in North America!
Really? No; seriously, . . . r.e.a.l.l.y?
To be clear, I am grateful for the protests – concerned for the health and well-being of many of the protestors, as we are still in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis! I am saddened by the rioting and pillaging!
But I am setting aside the analyses, condemnations, assertions, . . . and even the expected, heart-felt prayers!
I am looking for God to show up; because God is my only hope, . . . God alone is my hope!
This is my invocation:
God our Creator and our Redeemer, we ask for a manifestation of your presence and power amidst the current destruction of life and creation;
God of justice and of love, we look for you in the healing of all injustices, . . . specifically now in the current reminders of the fruits of racism;
Lord Jesus, our Model of selfless love, sacrificial obedience and transforming behavior, we would dare to open the inner recesses of our beings and our hearts: We invite you in!
Holy Spirit – dynamic, cleansing, and renewing Breath of God – we risk asking you to have your way within our current best attempts to structure and manage your call to us – to work for, and to receive, the fulfillment of your full intention for all creation, everywhere, on this earth, . . . as we believe it is or will be in heaven!
Triune God, we wait for the evidence of your presence and dwelling among us.
In your name and for your glory we pray. Amen.