Many of us will be in church tomorrow exercising our freedom to worship. We will gather, hold hands, join our hearts, sing songs, examine God’s Word, and rejoice for all that we have to be grateful for. Yet, tomorrow will not be just another Sunday. Throughout our communities, all over our nation, our hearts are heavy, filled with grief. To say it’s been a tough week is a grand understatement. We stand at a precipice in our journey unlike any we have faced before it.
Barely a day has passed since the shootings in Dallas that claimed the lives of 5 of the city’s finest. It has been a most difficult week in a long array of challenging weeks for our nation. Our communities teeter totter between brief bursts of unity and draining cries of discord shouted amid an ever-growing, dangerous divisiveness. Healthy disagreement and civil dissent are bright, burning beacons of a thriving democracy.
Even not knowing all the facts, it is still difficult to see and hear a few in authority seemingly exceed the boundaries of trust bestowed upon them. My heart aches for the families of all involved. Their lives will never be the same. However, we cannot allow the actions of a few to erode our trust in our entire system. Yes, there are things that need to be fixed. Of that there is no doubt. And in order to improve them, we must be willing to have hard conversations and face difficult challenges that change brings. We might all like to think we live in a perfect world. But, we know we don’t. This should not keep us from seeking to make today better than yesterday. Because we know we can do better.
If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
I was glad to see Dallas shine and show the country that it is possible to have peaceful demonstrations without crossing the line into the land of no-return. In America, we have the right to assemble peaceably and protest. In America, we are able to exercise our right of freedom speech, without fear of tyrannical government retribution.
Along with many in our nation, I watched with utter horror as the events of Thursday night turned from peaceful protest to a vile, despicable act of slaughter. Our men and women in blue put their lives on the line every single time that they leave the safety confines of home. They do it because it is their calling. Too often, it is a thankless job with inexplicable high risk and utterly low reward. I don’t know how they do it. I know that I could not. I am so extremely grateful for their willingness to do what they do, especially at a time where they don’t adequately feel our support and even then, nor nearly often enough.
I am unbelievably proud of Dallas Mayor Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief Brown for the leadership they demonstrated during the most difficult of days. They stood together. They led—together.
As I prepare my heart for worship, I ache. Like many of you, I’m physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. I grieve for the fallen officers who laid down their life serving a community that too often is not thankful enough. I mourn for those who lost their loved ones earlier in the week, prior to the events that transpired here in Dallas on Thursday night. None of us are for injustice. None of us are for senseless violence. None of us are for hate. The actions of one, do not speak for us all.
This Sunday, let us be thankful. Regardless of our differences–we are still one.
May God shine His favor abundantly upon you and yours and may He give us all the grace and mercy we need in the days ahead. God is for us, not against us. In the same way, we must find a way to be for each other, not against one another.
We are the United States of America.
Please continue to pray for Dallas and pray for our nation. Prayer works.
May faith, hope, and love remain.