Updated: Oct 17, 2019
We live in an age where every day we see an event that feeds our justified rage against the enemy -- So much so, that I believe I've reached that moment of shock after surviving an explosion where all you can do is survey the damage without the capability of processing feelings thoughts and emotions. At this moment I'm void of any real constructive thoughts to bring solace to those that have been affected by this prevailing kind of evil. I'm so numb that I can't sufficiently process the breakdown of what the enemy has accomplished. The only thing I can register, is that the enemy has released a bomb barrage, and I am (we are) effectively broken down.
My ancestors experienced a country that defined them as 3/5th's of a human being. They thrived inside of an acute awareness of their own oppression and marginalization. They thrived so much through Christ that they created a small pocket of freedom that I was born into. I had enough space and privilege to be ignorant of the marginalization purposed to hold me back for the first 34 years of my life. To finally become aware and then see the effects of this prevailing evil against (me) my people is to say the least, shocking.
My upbringing is a blessing and a curse (not so much a curse but a disservice) -- A blessing due to the comprehensive anchor that runs very deep in Bible doctrine, and a disservice due to my disconnection to the evil scheme that has been brewing against (me) my people long since before my great-grandparents got here. I was taught the stories of my ancestors, but I didn't connect to the experience and emotion of being oppressed. Today, I am aware of that oppression, but unlike my grand-parents, I have an acute awareness of my own freedom.
I am the true definition of an oxymoron -- I am a free oppressed person. (This is my lament).
Nevertheless, there is fortune to be unpacked related to what I am witnessing today, and the irony of my life. Whether it is a result of trauma or shock, I can't be untethered from the written or living word that governs my life. Christ is the proverbial air I breathe, so I am unable to not have hope inside my trauma. I can't speak for everyone because I am fully aware that there is such a pain that can cause a believer to doubt God's existence. I arrived at that place years ago. I hope to never visit there again. Nevertheless, my hope for you - the one who is reading this -- is that you receive hope from my divinely twisted experience. Surrounding this blanket of prevailing evil, is a prevailing light of hope, justice and righteousness that encircles me. Jesus, it may look like I'm surrounded, but I'm surrounded by You. This is how I fight my battles.
After reading what happened to Atiana Jefferson and Botham Jean; and the mass response from people and church members, thoughts of "wait wait wait", "hold up" "slow down" darted back and forth across my mind. People were calling Christians, coons for showing mercy. Church clergy were inciting people to start standing against government authorities. Regular people were starting to give up on prayer. I was witnessing a rebellion against the written word, due to the prevailing evil that had effectively broken us down.
The Holy Spirit gave me Matthew 5. When I read it, I discovered that Jesus Christ addressed every emotion of broken humanity, as a result of murder, betrayal, corruption and oppression. Our breakdown was directly addressed by Christ on a mountain where his disciples gathered. They heard Christ say, happy are the poor in spirit, happy are those who mourn, quickly make friends with your enemy, turn the other cheek, give your coat if someone sues for your shirt, and so on...: all of these paradoxical conclusions seemed to completely disregard the mess of brokenness and corruption.
And then I came across the phrase: "You are the salt of the earth..." I reflected on the characteristics of salt. Specifically related to humanity, salt indefinitely stops the growth of bacteria and fermentation. It effectively prevents decay and enhances coloring and flavor. These are the immediate results of salt. Salt is pressed hard and unfurled everywhere, all the way into the deepest crevices in order to stop the rebellion of decay.
This helped me to understand my identity a little better in light of the written word. The great irony of my life seemed to make sense concerning what Christ said, "You are the salt of the earth". I am oppressed enough to be traumatized by back to back stories of murder and oppression. Yet, am free enough to proclaim the glory of Christ and still give voice to His objectives and resolution for the entire world. I stand in the crevice between the broken down and the oppressor.
Not disregarding the spirit of being fed-up, please allow me to be salty for just a moment and speak from my trauma, oppression and freedom, and proclaim the battle to be already won! Christ has set you free! Bring your tears, frustration, and broken hearts into Him. Let yourself rest and take your time to be bent knowing that you are not broken. Let yourself be re-conditioned, while others remain equipped to focused on Christ's overarching objective: WE MUST FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.
Our fight is directly anchored in the mission of the Holy Spirit: He must and will be on display for entire world to see because He is in pursuit of the members of His body. So when we see the acts of Matthew 5: acts of forgiveness, mercy, kindness and covering, we are witnessing the Holiness of God. You are witnessing the salt of the earth. We must stand our ground and allow for the Holy Spirit to have its way.